ANKARA, October 2 (RIA Novosti) - Turkish archaeologists have found artifacts showing that Istanbul, earlier believed to be founded 2,700 years ago by the Greeks as Byzantium, is 8,500 years old, local media said.
The Al-Watan newspaper said the excavations in Istanbul, which have gone on for four years, have uncovered four skeletons, as well as wooden and ceramic pieces, shedding new light on the history of the Turkish city.
The discovery was made two months ago at a depth of six meters below sea level at the site of an ancient settlement. Ismail Karamut, who directs Istanbul's Archaeological Museum, said the finding would force historians to rewrite the country's history.
Istanbul, Turkey's largest city with a population of around 12 million, was the country's capital until 1923, when the government moved to Ankara. The city, historically known as Constantinople, was given its modern Turkish name in 1930.