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Roman legionary base in Turkey to be unearthed

Aerial view of a 2,000-year old ancient Roman Bath ‘Basilica Therma’ in Yozgat province in Turkey on 8 February 2018 [Sercan Küçükşahin/Anadolu Agency]

Archaeological excavation has begun at the site of a Roman legionary base in the ancient city of Satala in Gumushane, northeast Turkey.

“This is the first time a Roman legionary fortress is being excavated in Anatolia,” Sahin Yildirim, an archaeologist at Bartin University, told Anadolu Agency on Thursday.

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“We plan to find out about the functioning, tactical perceptions, weapons of a Roman legion as well as many other important things,” said Yildirim, who co-leads the 25-strong excavation team alongside Bernard Van Daele from the Leuven University Department of Archeology in Belgium.

The legionary fortress of Satala, east of modern-day Sadak, is one of the four legionary bases in Turkey.

The 15th Apollinaris Legion held the Roman Empire’s northeastern frontier and Euphrates River for centuries and guarded the rich mines in the area with its garrison at Satala from 117 until the 5th century.

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