The tomb of Karia King Hekatomnas and the Sacred Area, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage Temporary List and considered as one of the most important historical artwork discovered in the last century, is expected to be included in the permanent list soon.
The archaeological area is located in the Hisarbaşı neighbourhood in the western province of Muğla. It was discovered within an operation after it had been damaged by historical artifact smugglers. Speaking about the area, Muğla Sıtkı Koçman University (MSKÜ) Head of the Archaeology Department, Associate Professor Abuzer Kızıl said research was still continuing in the area. He said the Culture and Tourism Ministry Cultural Heritage and Museums General Directorate had applied to UNESCO and was included in the temporary list last year.
“Last year, the tomb of King Hekatomnos and the sacred area was included in the UNESCO temporary list of world heritage. It kept this status this year, too. We hope the region will be able to join the permanent list,” he said.Kızıl said research started three years ago and after the expropriation and demolishing of the buildings around, documentation was started.
Kızıl said the area was discovered through a call reporting a robbery and then with the consultation of a group of scientists, the burial chamber was cleaned and the wall paintings were taken under protection.
With a protocol signed with the Turkish Coal Enterprises, they were financially relieved, said Kızıl, and continued, “The grave of Hekatomnas and its surroundings was excavated. Very important archaeological findings and structures were discovered during the excavations. Among them, the most important is a villa from the late Roman period. Excavation in the burial chamber is jointly carried out by the Istanbul Restoration Conservation Centre Laboratory and an Italian team. We have rare findings here.”
A great value for Turkey
Kızıl said when the excavations are finished, Turkey would have even more value, and Milas would become a centre of attraction. “When the project is done, a king’s rare tomb will be revealed. There will also be a huge platform to exhibit pieces from various eras,” he added.
Kızıl said the restoration of seven houses in Uzunyuva was almost complete. One of these houses will be a carpet kilim museum and artifacts will be displayed in the other house, he said.