Arslantepe Mound – ancient archeological mound in Turkish province of Malatya recognized as UNESCO Heritage site

Baku, March 29, AZERTAC

The Arslantepe Mound, an ancient archaeological mound, which was inscribed on UNESCO's list of World Heritage sites positioning Turkiye as a destination with a number of recognition for its cultural heritage sites, is located in the Malatya plain, 15 km south-west of the Euphrates River.

Arslantepe Mound had been on UNESCO’s World Heritage Tentative List since 2014, and it is one of Turkiye’s “earliest religious and civil sites.”

The decision to add Arslantepe Mound in eastern Malatya province, dating back some 8,000 years, was taken during the Extended 44th UNESCO World Heritage Committee's online session held in Fuzhou, China in July 2021.

The archaeological site of Arslantepe is located in Southeastern Turkiye on the Malatya plain, 5 kilometers from the city center and 15 km from the Euphrates River.

Malatya is merely a one-hour flight distance from Istanbul. It is a 4-hectare and 30-meter high archaeological mound dominating the plain and formed by the superimposition of settlements for millennia from at least the 6th millennium BCE to the late Roman period.

Archaeological evidence from the site testifies to its occupation from at least the 6th millennium BCE up until the Medieval period. The earliest layers belong to the Late Chalcolithic 1-2 periods, contemporary to Early Uruk in Southern Mesopotamia (4300-3900 BCE) and are characterized by adobe houses. The most prominent and flourishing period of the site was in the Late Chalcolithic 5 period, during which the so-called palace complex was constructed.

Considerable evidence also testifies to the Early Bronze Age period, most prominently identified by the Royal Tomb complex. The archaeological stratigraphy then extends to the Middle and Late Bronze Ages and Hittite periods, including Neo-Hittite levels.

Exceptional metal objects and weapons have been excavated at the site, among them the earliest swords so far known in the world, which suggests the beginning of forms of organized combat as the prerogative of an elite, who at Arslantepe exhibited them as instruments of their new political power.

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