ancient textile mill turkey
© Sebahatdin Zeyrek / AA
Over the past several years, excavation in one of the largest settlements in western Anatolia has unearthed enlightening information on the textile history of the region
Excavation has been underway at the Beycesultan settlement, thought to have been built in 5000 BC, where archaeologists have found 40 consecutive cultural layers dating from the late Chalcolithic Period to late Bronze Age.

Turkish archaeologists have unearthed parts of a loom, textile tools and accessories dating back 4,000 years in the country's west.

Excavation and restoration teams have been working at the Beycesultan settlement in Denizli province for over a decade. Excavation in what is one of the largest settlements in western Anatolia has unearthed enlightening information on the textile history of the region.

"Last year's findings related to textile production had excited us. During this year's excavation works, the remaining parts of the house were unearthed," Esref Abay, head of the excavation team, said on Wednesday.

"As a result of this work, we have discovered that there is a textile mill dating back 4,000 years. There are also parts of a handloom," Abay said.

He said that Beycesultan is thought to have been built in 5000 BC and they have found 40 consecutive cultural layers from the Late Chalcolithic Period to Late Bronze Age.

The team had previously found loom parts and textile materials estimated to be 3,600 years old, in the region.

Rooting textile production to Denizli

"We found the structure here dating back to 1700 BC. We think that it belonged to a wealthy family due to its size and rich equipment," Abay said.

"Artefacts that are thought to have been imported from the surrounding regions were found inside this house, which has very large storage rooms," he said, adding that there is a 45-square-metre central room used as a workshop, as well as five other rooms used for different purposes.

Abay pointed out that thousands of loom weights used in textile production, seashells used in decoration, and burnt textile pieces have been discovered to date.

He said that the building was engulfed in a giant blaze but some parts survived it.

Abay added that excavations would continue with the other houses they identified in the layer.

He said these discoveries prove that Beycesultan was a major textile producer and this extended the history of textile in Denizli to a wider period of time.