A Yorkshireman in Istanbul, 1593 | History Today

Soon after the defeat of the Spanish Armada, a young Yorkshireman named Edward Barton was despatched to the Sultan’s court to promote the interests of the Levant Company.

The capture of Constantinople in 1453 by the Ottoman Turks signalled the collapse of Byzantine power and, because the Turks knew little of international trade and commerce, it might have led to an administrative vacuum. But the Sultan, Mohammed, wisely decided to adopt many of the customs and institutions developed by the Byzantines during the 1,000 years of their Empire. Among these was the system of capitulations – a word derived from the Latin capitulae, meaning the chapters of an agreement or treaty governing the relations between the State and other nations and their citizens in Constantinople. The status and rights of non-Turks in the Ottoman Empire thus came to be defined by…

Source: A Yorkshireman in Istanbul, 1593 | History Today.

Massive Underground City Found in Cappadocia Region of Turkey

Byzantine Blog

Archaeologists are exploring a sprawling network of tunnels and underground rooms discovered beneath a Byzantine-era fortress in Nevşehir, Turkey. Photograph by Murat Kaya, Anadolu Agency/Getty

When the invaders came, Cappadocians knew where to hide: underground, in one of the 250 subterranean safe havens they had carved from pliable volcanic ash rock called tuff.

Now a housing construction project may have unearthed the biggest hiding place ever found in Cappadocia, a region of central Turkey famous for the otherworldly chimney houses, cave churches, and underground cities its residents carved for millennia.

Discovered beneath a Byzantine-era hilltop castle in Nevşehir, the provincial capital, the site dates back at least to early Byzantine times. It is still largely unexplored, but initial studies suggest its size and features may rival those of Derinkuyu, the largest excavated underground city in Cappadocia, which could house 20,000 people.

By Jennifer Pinkowski

First published in National Geographic

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Byzantine ancestors of tablet computers found in Yenikapı diggings – ARCHAEOLOGY

Tablet bilgisayarin atasi kabul edilen not defteri

Yenikapı excavations that started nearly 10 years ago has brought back Istanbul’s historical heritage to 8,500 years. A wooden notebook, which was found in a sunken ship, the replica of which will sail, is considered the Byzantine’s invention akin to the likes of the modern-day tablet computer.

During archaeological excavations, experts have also found striking information on animal culture, such as the meat of many animals, like horses and wild donkeys were eaten in the ancient era.

Remains unearthed in the excavations drew great attention not only in Turkish, but also in world archaeology. The remains have survived as organic products, which greatly impressed the scientific world.

Within a project carried out by Istanbul University, the goal is to set the sunken ship, christened Yenikapı 12, sail again. The ship will be able to float by the middle of 2015.

Speaking about the remains, the project team member Associate Professor Ufuk Kocabaş said they had found organic products in Yenikapı area, which was known as Theodosius Port in Byzantine, a rare discovery. He said 60 percent of the sunken ship had survived in a preserved condition.

via Byzantine ancestors of tablet computers found in Yenikapı diggings – ARCHAEOLOGY.

 

Days that live in Infamy: The Fall of Constantinople

Byzantine Blog

Mehmet the Conqueror enters Constantinople

Faced with the certainty of death it is said that experienced soldiers are ready to make that last leap into the fray, knowing that they have only one fate. A man schooled in princely duties such as Constantine XI Dragases Palaeologos knew his duty and on this day, 29 May in 1453 he died fighting for his empire, his people, and his faith.

By Tom Sawford

After a series of unrelenting attacks by the Ottomans since 1.30 am, Constantine was at his post at the Lycus valley at aaround 7.00 am but it was clear that all seemed lost now. He gave final orders to his friends John Dalamata and Don Francisco de Toledo, and weighed in to fight hand to hand beside his troops fighting desperately in one last bid to throw back the enemy.

How tired he must have been. Covered in the…

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