First published in Hürriyet Daily News
The Küçükyalı Arkeopark, a large archaeological area on the Asian side of Istanbul, hosts the only surviving Byzantine monastic complex in the city, the head of the excavation team says. The 9th-century complex contains gorgeous marble floors, valuable mosaics and beautiful art objects that she hopes to see in a museum someday
The only surviving Byzantine monastic complex from 9th-century Constantinople has been uncovered in the Küçükyalı Arkeopark, located on the Anatolian side of Istanbul, the Italian head of the excavation team said Thursday.
“People started out thinking this was a 9th-century Islamic place. When I started doing research here, it became clear that this identification had no good grounding,” said team leader Alessandra Ricci, who noted that some travelers’ accounts dating from the early 19th century mentioned the existence of a Byzantine monastery in the area.
The rich monastic complex, built between 867 and 877, encompasses the church and burial place of Patriarch Ignatios, a prominent figure in Byzantine history who is depicted in the mosaics inside Hagia Sophia.
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Edit: Alexandra Ricci the person responsible for this dig knows Dr Michael McAdams who wrote our recent feature on The Anastasian Walls. She is also featured in the Anastasian Wall documentary that Michael refers to in his piece. She and James Crow did a lot of work on the Anastasian Wall. Alexandra is presently working at Koc University in Istanbul, after a stint as the Deputy Director of the Koc Institute for Anatolian Civilizations