2,800-year-old seeds found in Turkey to be resurrected

Ancient wheat and sesame seeds found during excavations in ancient castle in eastern Van province.

Mesut Varol - VAN, Turkey (AA) – 2,800-year-old wheat and sesame seeds taken from an excavation in an ancient castle in Turkey's eastern Van province are to be brought back to life.

Some ancient wheat and sesame seeds were found during the excavations, started in the Çavuştepe Castle in 2014 and headed by Van Yuzuncu Yil University archaeology department professor Rafet Çavuşoğlu.

Cavustepe Castle Hurriyet Daily News

Copyright Hurriyet Daily News

Çavuştepe Castle, built in the 8th century B.C. by Urartian King Sarduri II and has survived along with cisterns, city walls, temples and palace structures, is located in the Gürpinar district, 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) away from Van.

"Three cereal storages were found during the excavations in the castle," Çavuşoğlu told Anadolu Agency. "The castle is on the trade route through northwestern Iran, thus the findings may reveal some important information about the trade at that time." 

The seeds, confirmed to be 2,800 years old, will now be regenerated in a laboratory environment.   

Çavuşoğlu said the cereals cultivated from Gürpinar used to be preserved in these storages in the castle.

"The ceramic containers in which the cereals were stored are called 'pithos'. Most of the harvests used to be kept in these containers," Çavuşoğlu informed.


Illustrative image: Pithos

"We packed the wheat and sesame in due care. We will analyze these seeds in laboratories. If the seed had become carbonized by itself, the possibility to regenerate it is quite high. However, if it is because of a fire, we have less chance to revive them."


Wheat Seeds

Illustrative image: Wheat seeds

Tags: agriculture, Yannick Demoustier, turkey culture, turkey tourism, Sibel Uğurlu, turkey history, visit turkey, history, history europe, middle east history, Van, Çavuştepe Castle, Çavuştepe kalesi, Gülpinar, rafet çavuşoğlu, archaeology, turkey agriculture, seed, wheat, wheat seed, pithos, sesame, sesame seed, turkey archaeology, anthropology, anthropology turkey, botanics, botanic history, botanics turkey, botanic history turkey, history of agriculture, organic, organic agriculture, Mesut Varol, urartian, urartian king

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