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Turkish drought reveals 1,600-year-old city

A 1,600-year-old harbor town called Bathonea has been revealed after drought lowered the water level in Lake Kucukcekmece in Turkey.

The find is Bathonea, a substantial harbor town dating from the second century B.C. Discovered in 2007 after a drought lowered the lake’s water table, it has been yielding a trove of relics from the fourth to the sixth centuries A.D., a period that parallels Istanbul’s founding and its rise as Constantinople, a seat of power for three successive empires — the Eastern Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman.

While there are some historical records of this early period, precious few physical artifacts exist. The slim offerings in the Istanbul section of the Archaeological Museums here reflect that, paling in comparison with the riches on display from Anatolia, Mesopotamia and Lebanon.

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Story: Jennifer Pinkowski, NYT | Photo: Haldun Aydingun

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