Overview

ZERZEVAN CASTLE/ROMAN BORDER GARRISON

Southeastern Anatolia, which forms the extreme border of the Roman Empire, has been transformed into a geography where great struggles between the two great powers of the time, Rome and Parthians/Sassanids, have been maintained throughout history from the perspective of economic, political and military strategy. The research that has begun at Zerzevan Castle, the military settlement of Rome, plays a very important role in understanding the Roman period of the region. Due to its location, the entire valley is dominated by this strategic Roman border garrison on the antique trade route that controls a large area. Besides Zerzevan should be considered as a settlement where not only soldiers settled but also civilians. The history of Zerzevan located on the ancient road route dates back to the Assyrian Period (882-611 BC). It is also likely that residential area located on the King’s Road during the Persian period (550-331 BC) has been used with an eye to provide road safety. When the current architectural remains and the finds unearthed in the excavations were examined, in the 3rd century AD the main military settlement was built during the Severus Period (198-235 AD).  It can be said that the city walls and buildings of the settlement were restored in the periods of Anastasios I (491-518 AD) and Justinian I (527-565 AD), and some of the constructions were reconstructed and thus the present final state was obtained. The settlement was used until 639 which is the conquest year of the region by the Islamic armies. The excavation and restoration studies at Zerzevan Castle, which began in 2014, are still being carried out with the permissions of Ministry of Culture and Tourism and under the chairmanship of Doç. Dr. Aytaç COŞKUN.


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