HASANKEYF BEARS WITNESS TO THE WORLD SINCE THE HUMANITY’S SWITCH TO A SETTLED LIFE
Would you like to walk around the history’s passages in a nature that is rocky and hard but a fairy-tale-like? Then, you must see Hasankeyf, which is among the archaic Anatolian cities that bore witness to history and called as the ‘city of civilizations’ or the ‘capital of caverns’.
Hasankeyf that is located along the banks of the Tigris River used to be a town settled 520 m above the sea level between the Midyats in south and the Ramans in north. The town now lives its last days under the waters of the Ilısu Dam.
No archeological finds were encountered from 3,500 years to 12,000 years ago during the excavations done at the Hasankeyf mound of the gorgeous town with an unknown establisher. It had been called ‘Cefa’ in the antiquity and had become the center of the Assyrian episcopacy.
Favorite of the Eastern and Western tribes at the starting point of Mesopotamia, Hasankeyf had been home to Byzantine, Sassanids, Umayyads, Abbasids, Hamdanis, Marwanids, Artuqids, Ayyubids, and Ottomans except the antiquity. The town that fell under domination of Artuqids in 1001 was taken over by Ayyubids in the 1230s and this had developed the architecture and the general structure of the town greatly.
Madrasa, observatory, hospital, and other educational establishments have lost their economic importance along with the science and culture center of the region, Hasankeyf because of the changing transportation routes and trade centers. However, their historical and cultural heritage remains the same even today.
Hasankeyf that has been transformed into thousands of years old symbol with the historical texture of its fortress, houses of worship, cemeteries, and its cave settlements that had been carved into rocks and housed three hundred thousand inhabitants once upon a time continues to bear witness to the world since the humanity switched to a settled life.