Converting the Turkish hill “Yumuktepe” into an open museum that tells the history of 9 thousand years
After agreeing to turn the archaeological area into an open museum, the hill of “Yumuktepe” in the southern Turkish state of Mersin is preparing to provide an opportunity to discover the layers of human settlement that are rich in 9,000 years of history.
The hill is considered one of the oldest places that witnessed human settlement in the Anatolia region about 7 thousand years BC.
Early archaeological excavations
The first archaeological excavations began in the area in 1937, when the remains of many and varied layers, starting from the Neolithic period until the Middle Ages, were discovered.
In 2018, a team of archaeologists, headed by Isabella Caneva, a faculty member of the Archeology Department of the Italian University of Lecce, completed seasonal excavations and excavations in the area, coinciding with the signing of the University of Mersin and the state municipality of a protocol to transform the hill into an open museum and national park.
In this context, the General Directorate of Cultural Preservation in Turkey approved a project submitted by Ipek Dorokan, a faculty member at the Faculty of Architecture at Mersin University, to transform the Yumuktepe district into an open museum and national park.
It is planned that this will provide visitors with the opportunity to discover the remains of many geological layers, as well as the traces of many civilizations that inhabited the Anatolian region.
Museum and National Park
Dorokan said that the General Directorate for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage had approved the project she submitted to transform Yumuk-Tepe into an open-air museum and national park.
She added that the Mersin municipality will soon start the necessary work to transform the area into an open museum, noting that the studies that took place within the framework of the project were carried out with the support of a number of experts and archaeologists, led by the Italian Academy Caneva, city planner Burak Balke, and environmental engineer Sinan Porat.
She explained that the project aims to provide the appropriate environment for visitors to “Yumuktepe” to discover the remains of many geological layers, and the effects of different civilizations that originated and flourished on the soil of Anatolia.
Regarding the details of the project, Dorokan indicated that the open museum and the national park will include a reception center and exhibition rooms that will provide visitors with adequate information about the history of the area, and the project will also contain a cafeteria and administrative offices.
One of the unique hills in the world
Dorokan stated that the “Yumuk Tepe” hill will take visitors on a historical journey, adding that “the place contains a history dating back 9,000 years. This place is one of the first areas that witnessed the beginnings of human settlement in the eastern Mediterranean basin.”
She explained that “Yumuk Tepe” is one of the few hills known to all archaeologists around the world, and it is very important because it presents layers of human settlement in the area for thousands of years.
She expressed her hope that excavations in the region will continue in the coming years, because it has a unique historical richness that appears to the surface with every archaeological excavation by academics and researchers.
She noted that visitors will be able to see the excavation work taking place in the area, and see the layers of human settlement in one of the richest hills in this area.