2008 News Archive - Holidays - Archaeological discovery 'alters Istanbul's history'

09 02 2009

An archaeological discovery has changed the accepted version of Istanbul's history, leading experts to speculate that the city may be far older than was previously thought.

The Turkish tourism board said that the discovery of settlements dating back 8,000 years - which were made last year by archaeologists working on a rail tunnel under the Bosphorous - "could rewrite history".

Previously it was thought that the first settlements in Istanbul were established around 2,700 years ago.

Haluk Ozmen, the manager of the Marmary rail tunnel project, said that the find had halted construction work.

He added: "The dig is the only thing that can delay the Marmaray project. That's why we're working 24 hours a day to meet our deadline. Everything is in the hands of the archaeologists now."

While archaeologists continue their investigations, plans are being laid to establish a museum on the site.

Istanbul has long enjoyed a reputation as a treasure trove destination for history buffs, as it served as the capital of both the Byzantine and Ottoman empires.

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