Support for Archaeological Excavations

Sagalassos Excavations

Aygaz also supports the ongoing excavations at the ancient city of Sagalassos located in the foothills of the Taurus Mountains. The first signs of settlement here date back to 4200 BC. Since 2005, Aygaz has promoted efforts to bring this ancient city to light.

In 2010, the ruined Antonine Nymphaeum was restored with Aygaz’s support. The monumental structure was also restored to its original function as a fountain with water once again running through its “waterfall” structure. Following the completion of the Antonine Nymphaeum project, the restoration of the Upper Agora structures commenced, which used to be the heart of ancient urban life.

The goal of this project is to revive the area’s monumental structures and even the agora surface. The restoration will also provide exceptional protection for the Upper Agora monuments, which are of outstanding global importance, and present the site in a more articulate and understandable way. When finished, the Upper Agora will combine with the Antonine Nymphaeum and all other monumental structures to form a high-tech museum-like setting where visitors will be able to walk through the ancient city. All of these works help support efforts to include Sagalassos on UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage List.

Van Castle Excavations

Starting in 2010, Aygaz began supporting the Old Van City, Castle, and Tumulus excavations being carried out by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and Istanbul University. The archaeological excavations continuing at Tuşpa, the capital of the majestic Anatolian Kingdom of Urartu (which reigned in the first millennium BC), shed light on many questions concerning Urartu history.

During the excavations at Van Castle Mound, where the capital’s everyday citizens resided, stone-clad backyards, ateliers, and residences built to certain standards and with a specific planned infrastructure have been discovered, along with multi-room houses. The foundations and the architecture indicate that the large civilian settlement established here at the base of the citadel’s were the residences of the attendants responsible for the citadel’s upkeep. Clay tablets, seals, and bullas found here form a strong body of evidence.

The Old City of Van is another site benefiting from active excavation. Relics dating to the 12th-century Seljuk era have been unearthed, as well as Ottoman monuments and urban fabric from the 16th to early 20th century.

The Old City’s public and commercial structures, bazaar, inns, residences, stone-paved roads, and impressive religious structures paint an intimate portrait of 19th-century Ottoman life, and restoration work is ongoing to preserve the architecture discovered here.