Ancient Roman shipyard found in Alanya Castle
An interesting discovery was made on the beach in front of Alanya Castle, which was built in the Hellenistic period and rebuilt by the Seljuks who conquered the city in 1221, due to the harsh winter and waves this year. “We've had a severe winter this year and the existence of a Roman shipyard, a dock, has been unearthed under moss and dunes due to the waves” said excavation chief Prof. Dr. Osman Eravsar speaking about the discovery.
“Alanya Harbor stands out with its Seljuk period character, and one of the two shipyards of the Seljuk period that has survived to the present day is located here. There is a shipyard built in 1231 during the reign of Alaeddin Keykubad and two towers protecting the harbor on the sea side. One of these towers is known as Kizilkule (Red Tower) and the other is known as Tophane Bastion. The element that made Alanya important in the Middle Ages was the cedar tree in the surrounding mountains. Cedar wood is extremely important and necessary for shipbuilding. For this reason, Alaeddin Keykubad has that great magnificent shipyard built here. We've had a severe winter this year and the waves have revealed something. In front of Kizilkule, the existence of a dockyard, a shipyard that was completely under moss and dunes until recent years, has been revealed” Prof. Dr. Eravsar announced a 'very interesting discovery' by the sea.
“IT CAN BE AN IMPORTANT DISCOVERY”
“This underwater shipyard is a small shipbuilding site, but in terms of size and scale, it is almost the same size as the Seljuk period Alanya Shipyard. In other words, the waters of the Mediterranean rose in the Middle Ages, and due to the rise of these waters, the Roman shipyard was submerged under the sea water. We want to make a study in the area where the building is located in the coming years and determine its dimensions and architecture. We think it will be an important discovery in this respect” said Prof. Dr. Eravsar.
ROMANS USED TO FIGHT WITH PIRATES
“Roman General Gnaeus Pompeius organizes an expedition against the pirates and defeats the pirates in front of Alanya. As we learn from Roman history, the pirates retreat to the castle, and then the Romans take over the castle as well. After that, at the end of the 1st century, from the 2nd century onwards, Rome uses Alanya and its surroundings as an advanced garrison to break the pirate domination in this region. Therefore, our shipyard or ship dock, which is under water at that time, changes about 2-3 meters in depth and on an inclined surface. In other words, it should be about 10 meters further from the shore, from the sea. Therefore, in the Middle Ages, as a result of the water rise, this ship's dock remained in the sea and since the port was inside, the defense architecture structures were shaped accordingly” said Eravsar.