January 7, 2018Archeology, World

The recently discovered archaeological settlement of Tunceli Province appears to hold Armenian writing on ancient stones.

The discovery of a large 3,000 years old settlement in Eastern Turkey has been widely featured in Turkish media in 2013. Thanks to English translation from several sources like Worldbulletin, the news reached international audiences as well.

The article reads:

“Settlement in 3000 years found in eastern Turkey” It was discovered the largest archaeological settlement of Tunceli province – (Historical Armenia)

An archaeological settlement dating back to 3,000 years ago was discovered in eastern Tunceli province of Turkey.

Thanks to the efforts of Turkish researcher Serkan Erdogan from Faculty of Science and Letters of Bitlis Eren University, and Culture and Tourism Director of Tunceli Ismet Hakan Ulasoglu, a 3,000-year-old settlement near Rabat hamlet of Cemceli village was discovered.

Being the largest archaeological settlement of Tunceli, a citadel-like settlement containing overtones of early iron age, Urartian, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantium period, Islamic middle age, and the Ottoman era was predicted to be one of the most important centres situated at an old transportation network.

Having encountered iron dross, ceramics, historical bridge and weight objects, researcher Erdogan thought that the area in question was an important economic production centre in different eras of the history.

Erdogan said that the discovered citadel was wider than three football stadiums.

However, the report doesn’t mention the clearly visible old Armenian texts inscribed on ancient stones found at the site. Whether the Turkish researchers are aware of the stones or not yet remains unknown.

Nonetheless, the traces of Armenian presence are undeniable. Historically, Tunceli Province (formerly Dersim Province) was a part of the Greater Armenian Sophene Province. It was later annexed to the Byzantine Empire and was eventually occupied by Seljuk Turks. The Armenian population remained there up until WWI.

After the terrible events of the Armenian Genocide, most of the Armenian population disappeared from Eastern Turkey, including Dersim Province. Today, it is mostly inhabited by the Alevi Zaza Kurdish and Sunni Turkish people. But the Armenian traces are still found among the ruins of ancient settlements.


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