Archaeology Magazine

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Sunken Byzantine Basilica

Lake Iznik, Turkey

Monday, December 15, 2014

Top-Ten-Byzantine-BasilicaThe remains of a basilica dating to the fifth century lurked unnoticed under the waters of Lake Iznik just off the shore of the ancient city of Nicaea until they were spotted during an aerial survey.Only 100 miles from Istanbul, the ancient city of Nicaea, on the shores of Turkey’s Lake Iznik, is not remote or unknown. So archaeologist Mustafa Sahin was in for a shock when a routine aerial survey of the lake revealed traces of a fifth-century basilica. “I did not believe my eyes when I saw it under the helicopter,” says Sahin. “I thought to myself, ‘How did nobody notice these ruins before?’” The site is now slated to become an underwater archaeological museum.


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