There is no doubt that the air and water quality, globally, have seen a significant improvement ever since COVID-19 lockdowns have been imposed. In recent news, we learned that an ancient underwater church in Turkey was visible due to reduced pollution levels. By Amitha Ameen
A long-forgotten ancient underwater church in Turkey has become visible from above thanks to clearer waters and reduced pollution. It is situated almost 10-feet deep and at a distance of 160-feet from the shores of Lake Iznik.
According to various online sources, the lake is more than 1,600 years old and was reportedly destroyed due to an earthquake in 740 AD, the ruins of which lie at the bottom of the lake today. The nation-wide lockdown helped clear the water pollution in the region and an aerial photo of the lake revealed huge walls and ruins of a Roman-style church.
The church was discovered in 2014 and was titled as one of the top 10 discoveries of the year by the Archaeological Institute of America. Basilica as the church is known was built somewhere around 390 AD, back when Istanbul, the economic, cultural, and historic capital of Turkey, was known as Constantinople.
Local authorities had announced plans to establish the site as the country’s first underwater archaeological museum. A concept that has been quite prevalent in the country – underwater archaeology has been practised for a while now and teams have been carrying out excavations of the submerged church since 2015.