Discover Mardin and visit ancient Dara
Dara Ancient City, which is 30 km away from the city center, is among the historical sights need to be seen in Mardin. This historical ancient city, known as the Ephesus of Mesopotamia, is an important settlement on the Silk Road.
Dara Archaeological Site is located 30 km southeast of Mardin province. Founded in 506 (the beginning of the 6th century AD), the ancient city of Dara was named Anastasiopolis. This archaic settlement is one of the most famous ancient cities of upper Mesopotamia.
The remains of the ancient city of Dara are spread over a large area of 9 km and mostly carved into rocks. Around the village, visitors can see the cave houses carved into the rock. Additionally, a church, a palace, a bazaar and related storage facilities, a dungeon, a cannon foundry, and the aqueduct are still extant. The history of these structures date as far back as the Late Roman, Early Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman periods.
When visitors come to the area of Dara they will see one of the unique ancient cities of Turkey.
Defensive Walls and Fortress: Consisting of the buildings that were carved into the rock over a large area, the ancient city of Dara was once protected by 4 km long defensive walls. The fortress was situated to the north of Dara, on the 50 m high hill.
Cave Houses: Additionally, there are cave houses dating back to the Late Roman period for history lovers around the village.
Gallery Grave: The gallery grave where hundreds of people were buried together, and where reinvigoration ceremonies took place in the Roman era, was unearthed in the 2009 - 2010 excavation season. This gallery grave is unique in the world.
Cistern: The cistern, which is located at a depth of 25 m under a village house in Dara and named as the dungeon by the villagers, was cleaned and unearthed in 15 years.
Water Collection Chamber: The water collection and distribution chamber was built on the southern skirts of the acropolis, carved on bedrock. This structure consists of 10 cell chambers covered with paralel barrel vaults.
The ancient city of Dara, dating back 2300 years, is one of the most glorious settlements in the region of Mardin. A typical Roman city with its interesting rock tombs and churches, necropolis, cisterns, bridges, strong city walls, agora and public areas, Dara Ancient City is waiting to be discovered as the Ephesus of the Southeastern Anatolia region. The city carved out of rocks, still has secrets to reveal.