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Archaic city of Dara in southeastern Mardin province

Archaic city of Dara in southeastern Mardin province

The archaic city of Dara, located in southeastern Mardin province, was one of the significant trade centers of Mesopotamia in ancient times. The Roman-era city offers opportunities for visitors who want to embark on a historical journey with its all glory and splendor.

Excavations and research have been carried out for 34 years in Dara’s Oğuz village, which is some 30 kilometers (19 miles) from the provincial center.

The ruins of the ancient city of Dara, featuring ancient rock tombs dating back to the fifth century A.D., have been compared to the famed city of Ephesus in Aegean Turkey, earning it the nickname the Ephesus of Mesopotamia, the breadbasket of the ancient Near East.

The city, an important settlement along the famed Silk Road – which also saw great wars – for years served as the last stronghold of the Byzantine Empire in southeastern Anatolia, offering unique opportunities for those who want to go on a historical journey.

The necropolis, which literally means the city of the dead, is where religious ceremonies were held during the Roman Era and hundreds of people were buried together. Now, it is one of the most popular spots in the ancient city. “Our purpose here is to fully reveal the tourism potential of Dara, one of the most important city walls in the world,” said the Minister of Industry and Technology Mustafa Varank upon visiting the ancient ruins.

In this context, the government provided support of 4 million Turkish liras (nearly half a million dollars) through the Attraction Centers Support Program, as carried out by the Mardin Museum Directorate.