Ancient salt fields unearthed as waters recede at Turkey's iconic Iztuzu Beach
An unusual occurrence of low rainfall and soaring temperatures at Iztuzu Beach has led to a significant recession of waters, unveiling a hidden relic of the ancient city of Kaunos—a 2,000-year-old salt field. The old salt plant, a testament to the rich history embedded in the soils of Mugla's Ortaca district, was initially discovered in 2005 and is gaining renewed attention.
The decline in water levels has offered archaeologists and visitors a rare opportunity to witness the ancient salt pans, integral to the salt field that dates back two millennia. The intricate formations inside the salt pans depict an ongoing functionality, illuminating the enduring legacy of the site.
The Head of Excavation, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ufuk Cortuk highlighted that Kaunos was once a bustling port city featuring two prominent ports designated for trade and military activities. The salt field's emergence has rekindled interest in the city's historical and economic contexts.
Dr. Cortuk elaborated on salt's essential role throughout human history, from its elemental importance to the human body to its economic value as a commodity. Ancient texts show the use of Kaunos salt in pharmacology, particularly in the concoction of eye ointments, underscoring its multifaceted applications.
Dr. Cortuk affirmed the material's centrality in human survival and progress. He revealed that the salt plant, established through remarkable engineering methods in the ancient world, produced an average of 4-5 tons annually.
The ancient city of Kaunos, listed on UNESCO's World Heritage Tentative List, has been an archaeological gem, its embedded treasures often obscured underwater. However, this year's environmental conditions have offered enhanced visibility, making it a source of intrigue for historians, archaeologists, and tourists alike.
Dr. Cortuk invited those keen on exploring the historical depth and architectural marvel encapsulated in the ancient salt pans, rendered visible because of unique environmental conditions.
As the world grapples with changing climatic patterns, uncovering the Kaunos salt pans is a poignant reminder of the intricate dance between nature and history. Each environmental shift unearths layers of the past, offering insights into ancient civilizations while raising critical dialogues on sustainable environmental management.
For a detailed visual journey into the recently uncovered ancient salt fields, visit.