8,000-year-old rock carvings under threat of destruction

Thousands of rock carvings discovered at the beginning of the 1990s in the ancient city of Heraklia at Latmos in southwestern Turkey are faced with destruction due to plans to open a stone quarry at the site.

8,000-year-old rock carvings under threat of destruction
Rock carvings at the Five Fingers Mountains discovered by Dr. Anneliese Peschlow-Bindokat are pictured [Credit: İHA]
At the beginning of the '90s, many rock carvings were discovered at the Five Finger Mountains in research by Dr. Anneliese Peschlow-Bindokat from the German Archaeological Institute. The carvings have been dated to the sixth to fifth centuries B.C., and are considered one of the most significant discoveries of Near Eastern archaeology. However, seven feldspar stone quarries have been opened in the vicinity to meet the demand for raw material to be used in the production of glass, ceramics and in the dye industry in recent years. There are now new plans to opening further quarries close to the site where most of the carvings are located.

According to the Radikal daily, Peschlow is now preparing a report for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Muğla and Aydın Board of Cultural and Natural Heritage to save the area from destruction.

Perschlow stated that the carvings reflect the phases through which humanity has passed. “Labraunda, one of the outstanding ancient cities in the southern west, has lost its glamor for the same reason. We must do our best to prevent the destruction of this site; otherwise this unique prehistory open air museum will be lost,” said Perschow.

Peschlow pointed out that the women were portrayed as very significant in the carvings, and that they reflect themes of community, family and male/female relations. The editor of Arkeoloji ve Sanat magazine, archeologist Nezih Başgelen, told Raidkal that the rock carvings are at least as important as those in Göbeklitepe and Çatalhöyük. “Unless necessary protection and precaution zones are constructed, we will face the stone chips of these outstanding rock carvings,” added Başgelen.

Source: Todays Zaman [September 30, 2012]

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