A 6th century Byzantine cistern has been unearthed during excavations conducted in the ancient city of Dara, in southeastern province of Mardin, Turkey. The cistern was found in a field used as a barn.
Excavation works in the 3,000-year-old ancient city of Dara are continued and according toNihat Erdoğan, the director of the Mardin Museum, the majority of the Roman city of Dara remained under village houses.
The recently dicovered Roman-era cistern is 18 meters in depth and 15 meters by width. This place was filled with earth that we later emptied. Its ruined ground has been restored as part of a project led by the cultural and natural heritage conservation board.
The cistern met the water needs for guests who came from Mardin during the Roman and Persian eras.
In the early Byzantine times, the ancient city of Dara was an important fortress, located in northern Mesopotamia, near the border with the Persian Sassanid Empire. Due to its strategic location, the ancient Dara was involved in many military conflicts, of which the most important was the famous Battle of Dara, fought between the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire and the Sassanids in 530 Ad.
Not only ancient Dara but also historical Mardin, which was first settled about the 11th century BC, has much to offer.
In Roman times, the city was known as “Marida,” an Assyrian name meaning “fortress.” Mardin is the place of mixed cultures and religions including Kurds, Christians, Yezidis, Syrian and Turks.