Traces of Vikings found at Bathonea archaeological excavation in İstanbul

An archaeological excavation was launched in 2009 near Lake Kucukcekmece in the Avcılar district of İstanbul to uncover the ancient city of Bathonea, which is estimated to be 1,600 years old. The excavation is being conducted under the supervision of Associate Professor Sengul Aydıngun from Kocaeli University. In an earlier interview with the press, she had said the first two years of the project were spent doing cleaning, researching, mapping and geophysical work and that the team started digging in 2011.

The early Hittite figure of a goddess and the amber necklace dating back to the Viking era were found in 2015 during the excavation. The goddess figure is estimated to date back nearly 4,000 years. The figurine, 3.5 centimeters in height, is made out of lead.

The archaeological findings were also covered in the September 2015 edition of Current World Archaeology, Britain’s most popular archaeology magazine.

The archaeologists’ finding of a Viking-period amber necklace in İstanbul is considered significant as it may provide evidence for the presence of Vikings, who were said to have been hired as soldiers by the Eastern Roman Empire, in ninth-century İstanbul.

About 700 Vikings are believed to have come to İstanbul from Scandinavia through Russia and, according to historians, are thought to have remained in İstanbul for about 400 years. However, the presence of those Vikings in İstanbul has not yet been proven. Thus, the recent finding of the necklace in İstanbul was greeted with enthusiasm by historians and archaeologists alike.