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Zerzevan Castle Architectural Ruins



Zerzevan Castle is located in Diyarbakır province, Çınar district, on the Diyarbakır-Mardin highway. Rome's military settlement was a strategic border garrison that dominated the entire valley and controlled a large area on the ancient military/trade route. The history of Zerzevan goes back to the Assyrian Period (882-611 BC). During the Persian Period (550-331 BC), the residential area on the King's Road was used to ensure road safety. When the existing architectural remains and the findings unearthed during the excavations are examined, M.S. The main military settlement was built in the 3rd century, during the Severus Period (198-235 AD). The walls and structures of the settlement were repaired during the periods of Anastasios I (AD 491-518) and Justinianos I (AD 527-565), and some structures were rebuilt and brought to their current state. The settlement was used uninterruptedly until the conquest of the region by Islamic armies in 639.


In the military settlement surrounded by 1200 meters long walls, there are architectural ruins such as a watch and defense tower (south tower), church, administration building, arsenal and rock altar in the southern area where public buildings are located. In the north, streets and residences can be followed. In the area where the residences are located, water cisterns, an underground church, an underground shelter, and the last Temple of Mithras ever found in the world were identified. Outside the walls, there are canals, offering bowls and quarries that provide water to the settlement; There are rock tombs and vaulted tombs in the necropolis area.


Zerzevan Castle excavation and restoration works were carried out by Assoc. Prof. Dr. with the permission of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. It was started in 2014 under the chairmanship of Aytaç COŞKUN and is still ongoing.


Zerzevan Castle and Mithras Temple were included in the UNESCO World Heritage Temporary List in 2020.

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