Arslantepe Mound becomes more popular after UNESCO listing
The approximately 7,000-year-old ancient mound of Arslantepe in eastern Turkey now attracts 10 times more visitors since it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July, said a manager on September 2.
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Rising some 30 meters (over 90 feet), the Arslantepe Mound, known as the place where the foundations of state and bureaucracy were laid, is home to the world’s oldest mud-brick palace, the tomb royal and the drainage pipe, said Çetin Şişman, the local director of culture and tourism in the eastern province of Malatya.
Speaking to Anadolu agency, Şişman said that unlike most of these structures which are only visible from the outside, tourists could enter the palace structure and complex in Arslantepe and experience the interior. of these old buildings themselves.
Pointing out that this has played a role in the site’s growing popularity, he said that while it had only received 30-40 visits per day previously, that number has been between 300 and 400 since it became a site. World Heritage Site on July 26.
“We expect it to increase even more next season. We can say that the number of visitors has increased almost 10 times compared to previous years,” he added.
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The decision to add Arslantepe to the list was taken during the online session of the 44th Enlarged World Heritage Committee of UNESCO in Fuzhou, China, becoming the 19th such site in Turkey.
Work continues to unearth and preserve the archaeological remains of Arslantepe, as well as to make it an even more popular tourist destination, said işman, with plans to cover the excavated areas with a protective roof, build a center of welcoming visitors near the site, and building a new archaeological museum.
Other plans include promotional films, preparing brochures and increasing the number of audio guides and security guards, işman said.
“We will continue our work on Arslantepe in the future, not only as the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, but also with our local stakeholders, in consultation with our municipalities, universities and non-governmental organizations.”