Aerial Photos Spot 390AD Church in Turkish Lake
|Lake Iznik's Ancient Basilica|
An ancient Christian Church dating back to 390 AD has been discovered submerged in Turkey's Lake Iznik. It's a Roman style church known as a basilica. It's under 10 feet of water, 160 feet offshore near the western tip of Turkey. Archeologists believe an even older pagan temple dedicated to Apollo may lie underneath it.
For years a team of archeologists from Bursa Uludag University had been searching the shores of the lake for the ancient ruins. They were shocked by the aerial photos (taken by government surveyors) showing the site resting in the lake. The Basilica was built in 390AD when Istanbul (about 2 hours away) was the eastern center of the Roman Empire.
The basilica was destroyed by an earthquake in the 8th century and sank into the lake. It's been forgotten for 1600 years until now. Archeologists are combing the site and have found items such as ancient coins and parts of a lamp that point to the existence of the pagan temple. They have petitioned the Turkish government to turn the site into Turkey's 1st underwater archeological museum. If agreed to, the museum could open in 2019.