Archaeologists who went to look at a simple stone barn in a rural area were stunned to find it had been built out of ancient hieroglyphs that are more than 3,000 years old.
The builders of the primitive cattle barn who simply wanted to use the stones they found lying around to build a shelter for their animals had inadvertently created a structure that also protected the carefully carved fragments of stone.
As a result, it has provided a treasure trove of invaluable ancient writing which is now going to be carefully dismantled, with the written on sections of stone taken away for further study.
All of the hieroglyphics that were found on the property in the Gulsehir district in the province of Nevsehir in central Turkey historical Cappadocia region are estimated to be over 3,000 years old. There is however no trace of the original structure which was probably a temple anywhere in the area.
The head of excavations, Professor Yucel Senyurt, said that the “invaluable hieroglyphs” were from the “Tabal Kingdom” which appeared following the downfall of the Hittite Empire in South Central Anatolia at around 1180 BC.
He added that the discovery would “greatly contribute to shedding of light on the history of the neo-Hittite kingdom.”
The barn has been given protected status with nobody allowed to use it and stonemasons from the Nevsehir Museum Directorate will be working to extract the stones with hieroglyphics over the coming months.
Little is known of the Hittites outside what is written in the Bible, but they did make stone records, some of which survive and detail stories of their gods and legends.
Local villager Dervis Ucar said that until the archaeologists arrived the barn had still been in use, and they were pleased that it was now being examined and that the heritage it contains would be preserved.