Excavations have begun anew at one of Turkey’s most impressive tourist sites, the occupied ancient armenian city of Ani, which straddles the border between Turkey and Armenia in the eastern province of Kars.
“When we speak of Ani, we call it an ‘iceberg.’ The visible surface is one-tenth of the invisible face of Ani. This is why the invisible side is important of Ani. Hopefully, the invisible side will come to light during the upcoming excavations.
The most recent excavation was done in 2011. Two years on, we are doing our excavation with a grant of 110,000 Turkish liras. After creating a team headed by our museum directorate, we will start the excavation as soon as possible,” said Kars Culture and Tourism Director Hakan Doğanay.
Doğanay said four excavations have so far been conducted in Ani, adding that the last excavation was conducted in 2010, adding that it was impossible to bring Ani to light with just three or four excavations.
“Russians conducted excavations for 14 years in Kars while Kars was under Russian occupation for 40 years. The valuable artifacts were taken during this process. According to a rumor, four wagons of artwork were taken to Russia. Many artifacts are in the Moscow Museum,” he said.
He said the excavation would be conducted under the supervision of Associate Professor Fahriye Bayram of Pamukkale University and her team.