An excavation team discovered a 1600-year-old church in central Turkey´s Niğde province, state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Sunday.
The octagonal church containing coins believed to be from the 4th century, present a rarity for Anatolia, it said, citing Osman Doğanay, head of the excavation team and instructor at Aksaray University’s department of archaeology.
“We think that the coins belong to the beginning of the 4th century AD. Thus, we have a proof of the construction date of the city walls and aqueducts,” Doğanay said.
Excavations in the ancient city of in Tyana were started by an Italian team in 2001, Doğanay said, noting the significance of the octagonal church.
“There are very few examples in Anatolia. The only example of this size is in the Cappadocia region. We had some doubts about the dating of the church, we could guess, but thanks to the coins we found here, we confirmed that the church was built in the 4th century A.D,” he said.
Excavations will continue this year, but with a smaller team due to the pandemic, according to Doğanay.