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Perinthos Excavations Unearth the History of Ancient Food

An archeological excavation in modern day Perinthos, Turkey, brought forward numerous relics from daily life 5,000 years ago. Credit: Nick Thompson, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

A team of archaeologists on Tuesday in Tekirdag, Turkey, excavated a plethora of artifacts found in the daily lives of those living in Perinthos 5,000 years ago.

The archaeologist who led the project, Zeynep Kocel Erdem, told the Anadolou Agency that the excavations took place over the course of a 2.5 month period and the team uncovered several ancient objects used for cooking and eating, including spoons, cutlery, and other objects used for preparing food.

“We made excavations at the western end of the acropolis in the ancient city. There we found some parts of the early city walls. We think that we are working in the area that was a church over a temple. We also know the existence of the temple and the church from ancient inscriptions. This place was mixed very much and different places were added in the Byzantine period and the period we call young antiquity, so very mixed finds came out,” Erdem told Anadolu.

Before Erdem and her team’s findings came to light this week, experts believed that Greek colonists from the Aegean Island of Samos established the ancient city of Perinthos during the 600s B.C. But the excavation’s findings show that the objects at the site date back much further, to 3,000 B.C.

“We see that a large number of poultry, cattle and seafood were eaten in the area. We will be able to revive the ancient cuisine from the ceramics, spoon pieces and cooking pots we got here. Once these bones are thoroughly examined, we will be able to get an idea about the economy of eating and drinking.

“The ceramic pieces we found are from the Bronze Age 5,000 years ago. We understand that the first people of Perinthos lived in the Acropolis 5,000 years ago. The existence of the earliest layers in the acropolis is revealed by these remains. If, as a result of the examination, it becomes clear that the ceramics are from 5,000 years ago, we will have an important finding showing that there was a settled life 5,000 years ago,” Erdem explained.

Excavations of Perinthos continue as archaeologists search for ancient church

While the team’s findings are already a significant development in understanding the Bronze Age civilization, the excavations are not over yet. The team is planning on moving deeper through the ancient city, hoping to find a church that has been hidden deep in the ruins of Perinthos. The city is also believed to have held the biggest theater in the region at that time.

Provincial Culture and Tourism Director Ahmet Hacoglu felt that the team had already done an amazing job contributing to the history of Perinthos with their discovery, saying that “The face of our city will change with the finds to be unearthed in the near future. Marmaraereglisi will be one of the most preferred places in terms of history and cultural tourism.”


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