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Excavations resume in ancient city of Ani in north-eastern Turkiye

KARS, TURKEY - DECEMBER 17: A view of Arpacay Canyon and river on the Turkey-Armenia border which passengers of Turkey's Touristic Eastern Express train can visit in Kars, Turkey on December 17, 2021. Turkey's Touristic Eastern Express train line resumes as of Wednesday, Dec. 15, after being suspended due to coronavirus restrictions in the country. The Touristic Eastern Express offers passengers an unforgettable 25-hour journey with picturesque views all along the route.It was put into service by the Turkish State Railways (TCDD) in 2019 in order to meet the increasing demand as well as contribute to domestic tourism in the country.The eastbound train runs 1,310 kilometers (814 miles) between the capital Ankara and Kars, passing by provinces like Kirikkale, Sivas, Erzincan, and Erzurum.When the train arrives at its last stop, Kars, passengers will have the opportunity to see historic places such as the Kars Castle, the ancient city of Ani, which was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2016, and the Caucasian Front War History. ( Metin Aktaş - Anadolu Agency )
A view of Arpacay Canyon and river on the Turkey-Armenia border which passengers of Turkey's Touristic Eastern Express train can visit in Kars, Turkey on December 17, 2021 [Metin Aktaş - Anadolu Agency]

A team of art historians, archaeologists, architects and students has resumed excavations at the archaeological site of Ani, located in Turkiye's north-eastern Kars province, in order to unearth historical artefacts, Anadolu News Agency reports.

Known as "the world city", or "cradle of civilisations", Ani was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2016.

Located on the Turkiye-Armenia border, Ani is one of the greatest historical and cultural gems in the country.

Ani was ruled by Bagrationi dynasty in 884-1045 and by Byzantium in 1045-1064.

It was conquered by Sultan Alparslan on 16 August, 1064.

The site, standing on an approximately 85-hectare (210-acre) area, was home to many civilisations and languages throughout history, including Armenian, Greek, Turkish, Arabic, Georgian and Persian from 970 to 1320.

READ: Ancient teeth help solve mystery of Black Death origins, say researchers

Muslims and Christians lived side by side in Ani for centuries.

Ani is also home to many architectural masterpieces, including Ebul Manucehr Mosque, the first Turkish-built mosque in Anatolia, Amenaprgic Church, Cathedral of Ani, Dikran Honentz Church, Abugamir Pahlavuni Church, and Seljuk Caravanserai.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Muhammet Arslan, Head of the Excavation Team, said that the Ani archaeological site is a very important city with its 5,000-year history.

Arslan added that Ani has a very important place because it is the beginning of Turkish history and Turkish architecture in Anatolia.

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