Water receded in Iztuzu, revealing a 2,000-year-old facility
With the receding waters at Iztuzu Beach in Ortaca, the salt field used as a salt plant 2 thousand years ago was revealed. Head of Excavation of Kaunos Ancient City Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ufuk Çörtük said, “We see that the facility was established in this region with an engineering marvel method in the ancient period.”
With the withdrawal of water in Iztuzu Beach in Muğla’s Ortaca district, the 2,000-year-old salt field used as a salt plant came to light.
The ancient city excavation committee examined the site, which was uncovered in 2005 during the works in the ancient city of Kaunos, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List.
Salt formations in the salt pans in the facility showed that the facility has not lost its function until today.
Head of Excavation Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ufuk Çörtük said that Kaunos Ancient City was a port city with its two ports, one of which was identified as trade and the other as military, about the ancient salt plant that came to light with the withdrawal of the waters.
Stating that they examined the salt pans that emerged with the withdrawal of lake water in the salt field with the excavation team, Çörtük expressed the importance of salt for mankind from past to present.
Çörtük stated that in ancient sources, Kaunos salt was used as an additive in the production of eye ointment in pharmacology.
Recalling the words of the ancient writer Pirirus, “Without salt, there would be no civilization or humanity.”, Çörtük said, “Salt is an important necessity of the human body. It is also a source of livelihood for mankind. We see that the facility was established in this region with an engineering marvel method in ancient times. In our experimental archaeological studies, we know that an average of 4-5 tons of salt was produced during the 3-4 month salt production period of the year. We know that the salts produced were transported to the harbor in sacks and exported to Greece, the islands and the regions in need by ships.”
Çörtük argued that the Kaunos saltworks has not yet been identified in the ancient world.
Stating that the salt pans could not be seen for most of the year due to being under water, Çörtük said, “Now we are in late September. Due to the low precipitation and high temperature, the salt pans are really visible this year. I invite people who are interested in this subject to come here to see the Kaunos salt pan and salt pans.”