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Altıntepe (Turkish for "golden hill") or Yerez (Armenian: Երեզ) is an Urartian fortress and temple site dating from the 9th to 7th century BCE. It is located on a small hill overlooking the Euphrates River in the Üzümlü district of Erzincan Province, Turkey.

Temple in Altıntepe
Altıntepe is located in Turkey
Shown within Turkey
RegionErzincan Province
Coordinates39°41′47″N 39°38′48″E / 39.69639°N 39.64667°E / 39.69639; 39.64667Coordinates: 39°41′47″N 39°38′48″E / 39.69639°N 39.64667°E / 39.69639; 39.64667
Site notes
ConditionIn ruins

Altıntepe is located at the 12th kilometre on the highway from Erzincan to Erzurum. The site was discovered in 1938 during the construction of a nearby railway line. The remains are situated on a volcanic hill 60 m high. During excavations undertaken between 1959 and 1968 and led by Professor Dr. Tahsin Özgüç, a fortified settlement from the Urartian period was found. In the excavated area a temple or palace, a great hall, a warehouse, city walls, various rooms, and three subterranean chamber tombs on the south side of the hill were found. After a long gap, excavations were restarted in 2003 by the decision of the Council of Ministers, under the leadership of Professor Dr. Mehmet Karaosmanoğlu.

The hill was a significant center for the Byzantine Empire and has a church with three naves and mosaic floors. The church was built on a natural terrace and has a rectangular floor plan. The colorful mosaic floors with various geometric shapes and figures of plants and animals are unique to the region.[1]


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