Urartian architectural cladding plate found as a whole piece in Van, Türkiye

Urartian architectural cladding plate

A bronze architectural cladding plate, thought to have been used by the royal family as an ornament on the wall, was found in the room unearthed during the excavations carried out in the Ayanis Castle, built by the Urartians on the hill overlooking Lake Van.

Excavation and restoration work has been carried out for 34 years in the castle, which is one of the most magnificent structures of the Urartu Kingdom with its decorations, mud-brick walls and stone engravings that reached today in the Tusba district of Van.

During the excavations carried out on the northern slope of the castle under the chairmanship of Atatürk University Archeology Department Faculty Member Prof. Dr. Mehmet Işıklı, 4 new interconnected rooms were unearthed.

During the excavations carried out in the new structures, a decorated architectural cladding plate made of bronze, which was used as an ornament on the walls and doors of the Urartians by the royal family, was found. The artifact unearthed as a whole will be analyzed by archaeologists in a laboratory environment.

Prof. Dr. Işıklı told AA, that they wanted to reveal all the structures connected with the Haldi Temple in the castle.

He explained that they encountered very surprising findings during the studies carried out in the north of the castle. “We have identified the architecture of 3 of the 4 new structures we have identified this year, we have not yet figured out one. There are rows and interconnected room groups. This place surprised us in this sense. Many finds, especially ceramics, were uncovered in the rooms. Lots of wooden building groups, they give us important information about the details of the architecture, but we haven’t been able to determine what they were used for yet. The mystery in and around the temple continues.” said.

He stated that they encountered a unique find in one of the new rooms. “We are trying to learn the function of the group of buildings we unearthed in the north. During the work, we found a bronze architectural plated plate. We were very excited by this find. It is a very unique piece, it has been found as a whole. This is exciting as it is the only example that has been recovered. This decorated piece was most likely used as an architectural ornament. This is the only example in the Urartians.”

Archaeologist Dr. Oğuz Aras, who is working on metal finds, stated that the plate is a new example unearthed in archaeological excavations. “The Urartians have a large mineral network, we can see this in every area. We can see this from the wall decorations. This find is a wall decoration. There are ornaments fixed to the wall in the middle and corners. There are closed buds on it. There are also embossed ornaments in the center. We left it in moist soil for 2 days. At the moment, it is in a spot that does not see the sun and we have started the cleaning works.”