VAN – Anadolu Agency: Officials were informed about the existence of a historic castle-like structure in a field in eastern Van when a local showed them photos of the structure, which may be from the Middle Ages
A castle-like structure has been discovered in the eastern province of Van’s Çaldıran district, near the Iranian border. The structure is situated in a field on a hill some 2,000 meters high in Çaldıran’s Yücelen neighborhood, which overlooks Mount Ararat and a number of nearby settlements. The structure is mostly stone rubble around five meters tall.
Associated Professor Rafet Çavuşoğlu, the head of Yüzüncü Yıl University’s archaeology department said, “I have seen the photos. Considering the traces of the structure’s foundation, it looks like a castle.”
He said that since the field was covered with snow, he could not say anything about the area surrounding the structure at the moment.
“The structure resembles the early Iron Age castles which can be seen in the region. Also, the walling technique of the structure refers to the Middle Ages. The tower-like structures in the field we have never seen before in the region. The stones of the towers were piled on each other without mortar. A piece of cloth is attached to one of the towers. There are also graves in the field which are visited by villagers. It shows us that this field has a regional dimension,” he said.
Çavuşoğlu said examinations would be made in the area, adding, “Scientific work will begin when the weather gets warmer. Then we will get information about the function of the field. This work will solve a historical mystery.”
Not in the museum inventory
Van Museum Director Erol Uslu said they were informed about the structure when a local had come to them with photos, adding such a structure was not in their records.
“If our teams examine the field and find a notable structure there, we will include it in our inventory and take it under protection. When we examine the satellite photos of the structure, we can observe that it looks like a castle. A detailed surface survey there will provide us better information and we can share it with the public,” he said.
One of the locals in Yücelen, Turgut Ay, said the area served as a picnic spot, especially in the summer months. He said some people had difficulty climbing to the area since it was too high, and added, “According to our elders, this place was a graveyard for martyrs. People come here in the summer to have a picnic and some pray here. We want this place to be examined and its history to come to the surface.”