Ruins Of 1600 Years Old Ancient Church Return To View As Water Clears During Lockdown In Turkey

Posted by Sama in History
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The 1600-year-old basilica is found under Lake Iznik in Turkey. It is believed that one of the most important places in Christian history was discovered accidentally.

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#1 Clear water enabled incredible aerial shots of the ruins.

The whole world is under lockdown and we have been hearing stories of how animals are coming from the wild and occupying spaces after humans have vanished into thin air. Also, thanks to the lockdown that world pollution levels have decreased greatly. It is because of these reduced pollution levels that in Turkey an ancient church submerged that was possibly built on top of a temple to Apollo.

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#2 Astounding aerial pics reveal the 1,600-year-old basilica discovered under Lake Iznik in near crystal clear water.

The 1600-year-old basilica is found under Lake Iznik in Turkey. It is believed that one of the most important places in Christian history was discovered accidentally.

Archaeologists, historians and art historians estimate the religious structure collapsed during an earthquake in 740, before sinking further into the lake.

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#3 The clear lake water currently lies between 1.5-2 meters below the surface.

The submerged building visible through the now clear lake water currently lies between 1.5-2 meters below the surface and it is actually the first time in history that the ruins can be seen so clearly.

After the discovery, local authority captured aerial view and the pictures reveal the basilica's walls and structure just below the lake surface.

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#4 Earthquake a possible reason for its destruction.

According to the archaeologists, the church was built on the shore in AD 390 and the earthquake was a possible reason for its destruction.

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#5 This picture is taken years before the lockdown.

The actual discovery was made back in 2014. When it was first found by experts, the Archaeological Institute of America named the basilica as one of the top 10 discoveries of the year.

The surprising discovery was made while photographing the area from the air for an inventory of historic sites and cultural artifacts.

Five years ago the Doğan News Agency reported that the submerged structure was set to become an underwater museum.

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#6 Coins found at the submerged basilica.

Experts believe that the church was built in AD 390 to honor St. Neophytos, who was a devout Christian who was martyred during the period of Roman emperors Diocletian and Galerius.

Neophytos was killed by Roman soldiers in A.D. 303, a decade before an official proclamation permanently established religious toleration for Christianity within the Roman Empire, they say.

Uludag University Head of Archaeology Department Prof Mustafa Sahin told the agency in 2015 the church was built at the place where he was killed to honor him.

He said: "We think that the church was built in the 4th century or a later date.

"It is interesting that we have engravings from the Middle Ages depicting this killing. We see Neophytos being killed on the lake coast."

Ancient resources show that Christians definitely stopped by Iznik in the Middle Ages while making their pilgrimage to visit the church.

“Rumour has it that people in Iznik were asking for help from the body of Neophytos when they were in difficulty,” Sahin said.

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#7 Basilica is built on top of the temple to Apollo.

The researcher told Live Science that he been carrying out field surveys in Iznik since 2006, and "I hadn't discovered such a magnificent structure like that.

"When I first saw the images of the lake, I was quite surprised to see a church structure that clearly."

He also told the Archaeological Institute of America: “I did not believe my eyes when I saw it under the helicopter.

“I thought to myself, ‘How did nobody notice these ruins before?’”

Reports claim that there is a chance that a pagan temple exists below the church.

Researchers have uncovered fragments of an ancient lamp and early coins from the reign of the emperor Antoninus Pius - indicating a more historic structure buried under the church.

Sahin suggests that the basilica could be built on the temple to Apollo. According to sources, there is a connection with the Roman emperor Commodus to a similar temple at Iznik, then known as Nicea, outside city walls.

"Could this temple have been underneath the basilica remains?" Sahin asked of the church, which is to be transformed into an underwater archaeological museum.

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