x0x WORLD'S FIRST AND ONLY OPEN-AIR SCULPTING WORKSHOP IN GAZIANTEP AWAITING TOURISTS
- x0x WORLD'S FIRST AND ONLY OPEN-AIR SCULPTING WORKSHOP IN GAZIANTEP AWAITING TOURISTS
AA, 01 June 00, GAZIANTEP - Yesemek, world's one and only open-air sculpting
workshop, located in the Islahiye township of Gaziantep, is getting
ready to host domestic and foreign tourists, officials said on
The A.A correspondent reported that studies are being continued to
turn Yesemek into a ''field of statues'' by re-arranging about 300
statues and statuettes.
The Gaziantep Tourism Directorate prepared books, booklets, video
cassettes, and CD-Roms to introduce the open-air workshop to the
Yesemek was discovered in 1890 by Felix Von Luschan, during the
course of excavations in the Zincirli township. Further excavations
carried out between 1958 and 61 by Dr Bahadir Alkim had revealed
nearly 200 ancient statues.
Recently, more findings were unearthed by Archaeologist Ilhan
Research made on the area indicated that the workshop had employed
the residents of an ancient Hittite town between 1375-35 B.C.
Hittite towns had been invaded one by one, by seagoing
communities, and regressing inland towards South East Anhatolia, they
had turned into feudal kingdoms. This age is known as the Late Hittite
Sam'al, known today as Zincirli, was the kingdom to rule over the
region, which embraced also Yesemek in the 9th century B.C. From the
first quarter of the century onwards, the workshops of the town
resumed production, but the period itself imposed Assyrian influences
on the workshop's artistic production. In the following decades, other
nations ruled over the region, each leaving their own artistic
The Sam'al Kingdom went under Assyrian dominance in the final
quarter of the 8th century B.C, and Yesemek workshop was closed
forever, until 1890, when excavations brought it back into light.
The rich collection of the ancient workshop, presently on exhibit
at the open-air workshop are sphinxes, depictions of lions, mountain
gods, creatures, and various cult characters.