Istanbul, mystery in Chalcedon ruins

Archaeologists discover a mysterious structure in Istanbul

The discovery of the strange structure, for which there is no explanation, was made in the ancient Chalcedon, today’s Kadıköy, Istanbul.

Archaeologists excavating the remains of the ancient city of Chalcedon, in Istanbul’s Kadıköy district, have unearthed a mysterious marble structure under which there are numerous nameless tombs, something they describe as “unique and never seen before“.

It is something unique, something that we have never seen, so we cannot give it a name,” explained to the Turkish media archaeologists who work in this place, where in 2018 excavations began near the old railway station of Haydarpaşa.

Despite the mystery that still surrounds the discovery, experts agree that it is a sacred place that was used for “religious purposes”, although it is not a church. Under the ground, covered by blocks of marble of delicate craftsmanship, mass graves have been found. The place is so strange that for now nobody knows what its purpose was, since there is no record of a similar place.

This is not the only find that has been made in the excavations carried out in Chalcedon, the old name of Kadıköy, where about 18,000 old coins dating back to the 7th century BC have also been found, which shows that this place was an important centre of commerce. Remains of an ancient port and two cisterns have also been found.

Chalcedon, the city of the blind

The origins of Chalcedon date back to the 7th century BC. Some 17 years before King Bizas founded the Greek colony of Byzantium – later Constantinople – Chalcedon had been founded, located on the opposite bank of the entrance to the Bosphorus Strait and in a much less strategic location.

In fact historians such as Herodotus affirm that it was called “the city of the blind” because it was considered that its founders had ignored the advantages of the Byzantium location, where there was a natural port on the Golden Horn that also had currents at its favor. Yet for centuries Chalcedon prospered by sharing the fortune of Byzantium, both for better and for worse. For two years now, Turkish archaeologists have been trying to unearth its mysteries.