Mesopotamia, the oldest and culturally richest region in Anatolia, makes our history more valuable with the cultural treasure it hides deep inside. Nestled between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, these fertile and rich lands are filled with countless stories as they have been home to dozens of different civilizations. The remains of these civilizations, which secured their place in the rich archive of Mesopotamia and managed to retain their fame up to the present, are still worthy of being explored and visited. If you are keen on history and ancient remnants, then you can also read our article Must-Visit Ancient Temple Cities. Now, let's take on a journey to the ancient cities of Mesopotamia.
Located in the Village of Oguz, 30 kilometers southwest of Mardin, the Ancient City of Dara is one of the most important settlements in Upper Mesopotamia. It was built by Emperor Anastasius in 505. Ruled by Umayyads, Abbasids and Ottomans, Dara is surrounded by 4 kilometers of walls. This ancient city features sites such as bazaar, dungeon, palace, armory, cistern and weir.
Located in Sanliurfa, Halfeti was submerged under water in 2000 during the construction of Birecik Dam. Featuring caves, water cisterns, monasteries and churches and dating back to 855 BC, Halfeti fascinates the visitors with the way it looks. Founded by the Assyrian King Salmanassar III, Halfeti has been struggling to survive over time.
The history of Arsameia, located in Kahta, Adiyaman, near Mount Nemrut, dates back to the 3rd century BC. Alleged to have been built by Arsames, who was from the dynasty of Commagene, Arsameia is a settlement dating back to Hellenistic and Roman periods and Middle Ages. It is also very easy to get to the ancient city of Arsameia, which is worthy of being visited for the king reliefs.
Cayonu, one of the most famous neolithic settlements in Mesopotamia, is located in Ergani, Diyarbakir. It is possible to see the signs of transition to settled life in the ancient city, which is known to date back to 10,000 BC. It also stands out as the settlement where the first mining efforts were made.
Located in Nizip, Gaziantep, the ancient city of Zeugma can be regarded as the most famous ancient city in Mesopotamia. Enjoying its golden age during the Roman period, Zeugma is famous especially for the beauty of the mosaics garnishing the floors of the villas. If you happen to visit Gaziantep, you can include Zeugma in your must-visit list even only for the beauty of these mosaics. The beauty of the seal prints (bullas) unearthed during the excavations is also worth seeing. The Gypsy Girl mosaic, which comes to mind first when it comes to Zeugma mosaics, is also on display in Zeugma Mosaic Museum.
Located 53 kilometers from Harran, Sanliurfa, Sognatar is famous for the reliefs and inscriptions it features. Dating back to the 2nd century BC, the ancient city features numerous monumental tombs, water wells and religious pieces.
Again located in Mesopotamia, Perrhe is one of the five cities in the kingdom of Commagene, and it shows how a beautiful city it was even in its time through the sources. Serving as a resting place for travelers and caravans in the past, Perrhe is also famous for exceptional clarity of its water. A fountain, which is known as the Roman Fountain, is still in use today. The exceptional clarity of the water flowing here is one of the things that make Perrhe special. The cave houses and rock tombs in the city are also worth seeing.