Excavations in Hadrianopolis reveal ancient kitchen and artifacts

Excavations in Hadrianopolis reveal ancient kitchen and artifacts
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Archaeological team led by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ersin Celikbas discovers culinary insights from the late Chalcolithic to Early Byzantine periods.

In the heart of an ancient city that has witnessed the ebb and flow of civilizations, a team of archaeologists under the leadership of Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ersin Celikbas from Karabuk University's Faculty of Letters, Department of Archaeology, continues to excavate and restore the remnants of a bygone era. Their recent efforts focus on a structure identified as "drilling-3," part of the Hadrianopolis excavation project initiated in 2023.

As the year draws to a close, Celikbaş shares their significant progress: uncovering three sections of the building, including a distinct kitchen area accessed by a staircase. Despite the incomplete understanding of the building's overall function, the team has conclusively determined the purpose of one room. With its tiny square layout, this kitchen has yielded a wealth of information, including a hearth, various containers, and numerous seeds—wheat and a type of pea called vetch, as well as a grass referred to locally as "yogurt grass."

The discovery of these organic materials offers a unique glimpse into the inhabitants' dietary habits and food storage practices during the Late Chalcolithic, Roman, and Early Byzantine periods. The identification of the seeds was made possible through consultations with experts.

Further adding to the intrigue, Celikbaş reveals that iron blades were found alongside the pots, accompanied by a sharpening stone, which holds cultural significance. Known as "Kösere stone," this type of sharpening stone has been renowned in the Eskipazar region since the Turkish-Islamic period. The presence of such a stone at the site suggests a continuity of local traditions spanning several centuries.

The building, however, met its demise through a destructive fire, as indicated by the stratigraphic evidence. The wooden superstructure's collapse likely helped preserve the artifacts within. From the ash and debris layers, the researchers deduced that the building was in use from the 4th to the 7th centuries AD, postdating the 4th century BC. The artifacts discovered, particularly in the kitchen area, are believed to date back to this period, approximately 1600 years ago.

While the full story of the structure remains to be pieced together, Celikbaş is optimistic about future findings. The ongoing excavation efforts aim to paint a clearer picture of the building's role within the ancient settlement. For now, the team celebrates the rich historical insights gleaned from this archaeological endeavor, promising to shed more light on the lives of those who once called Hadrianopolis home.