In the Cinar district of Diyarbakir, Romans used Zerzevan Castle as a military settlement. It carries the traces of different cultural-belief stages that make up the cultural development of humanity together. The architectural structures of Pagan and Christian Rome reflect all the characteristics and technological developments of the period. The temple inside the castle is the first temple on the eastern border of Rome and the last Mithraeum (Temple of Mithras) unearthed in the world. Because of these features, Zerzevan Castle and Mithraeum are on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List.
It is thought that there was a castle called Kinabu in the region during the Assyrian Period (882-611 BC), and it was the settlement area on the King's Road during the Persian Period (550-331 BC) was used to ensure road safety. The main military settlement was built during the Severan Period (198-235 AD). It is estimated that around 1,200 soldiers and 400 civilians lived in this military settlement when there was no war. The walls and structures of the area were repaired during the periods of Anastasios I (491-518 A.D.) and Justinian I (527-565 A.D.), while some buildings were rebuilt and brought to their current state. The Islamic armies used the castle uninterruptedly until the conquest of the region in 639. Zerzevan Castle, which lost its strategic importance, became a temporary shelter after this date.
A family that settled in the castle in the 1890s later reached 17 households. In 1967, they moved to Demirolcek Village by founding it, which is very close to Zerzevan due to water shortage and transportation difficulties.
No excavation work was carried out in Zerzevan Castle for approximately 1,400 years. In the excavations that have just begun, the remains of both soldiers and civilians are being reached. All kinds of artifacts related to daily and military life, such as surgical instruments used by the Romans, family jewelry, women's hairpins, oil lamps, ceramic vessels, are unearthed in a well-preserved manner. So far, an extensive collection of both pagan Rome and Christian Rome has been captured. In addition, stone, metal, ceramic artifacts from the Assyrian Period and Assyrian seals were found. It is planned that these works will be exhibited by building the Zerzavan Museum shortly.
The visit of the 3rd generation representatives of the Rothschild and Rockefeller families to the Mithras Temple aroused great curiosity in the press. The reason for this visit is unknown.
USA Badge Found
It is exciting to know that this is the place of exciting discoveries. One of the most exciting discoveries in Zerzevan Castle was the discovery of a badge bearing the US national symbol. It was understood that the badge was produced using a technology after the 15th century and that it remained under the ground for approximately 250-300 years from the 18th century.
However, when we examine the history, the USA was founded in 1776, the motif was designed in 1782, the early examples of this type of badge or button were started to be used in the 1850s, and the coat of arms started to be used by the US army as of 1902. Surprisingly, the badge found in Zerzevan Castle coincides with when the USA was first established or just before the establishment. The fact that no such find has been found in any archaeological excavation in the world until now and the fact that it is not known how this badge came to Zerzevan Castle makes this place quite mysterious.
The US national symbol says "E Pluribus Unum" in Latin. "E Pluribus Unum," the first official slogan of the USA, means "from many to unity," that is, it represents the unity of the 13 colonies that make up the USA.
Places to visit in Zerzevan Castle
Surrounded by 15-meter-high, 1.200-meter-long city walls, the southern area of the settlement contains ruins such as a 22-meter-high watch and defense tower (south tower), church, administration building, arsenal, and rock altar. There are avenues, streets, and residences in the north. There are 54 water cisterns, underground churches, underground shelters, Mithraeum, and many structures whose function has not yet been determined in the area where the homes are located. There are canals supplying water to the settlement outside the walls, offering bowls and stone quarries. There are rock tombs and vaulted tombs in the necropolis area.
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