Image: Dig in Istanbul
Fatih Saribas  /  Reuters
Turkish archaeologists and restorers work on the remains of a 10th-century Byzantine ship in Istanbul on Tuesday. The digging area is part of the Marmaray Project, which aims to build a tunnel under the Bosporus Strait.
updated 6/20/2006 12:47:07 PM ET 2006-06-20T16:47:07

Turkish archaeologists announced Tuesday that they have discovered an ancient Byzantine port in an area that was slated to become an underground station for a modern rail tunnel.

They're calling the find the "Port of Theodosius," after the emperor of Rome and Byzantium who died in the year 395, and say the items they're digging up here could shed significant light on the commercial life of this ancient city. Through the ages, the metropolis has been known as Byzantium, Constantinople and finally Istanbul.

Like Romans, Athenians and other residents of the world's great historic cities, the residents of Istanbul can hardly put a shovel in the ground without digging up something important.

So far, archaeologists have found what they think might be a church, an old gate to the city and eight sunken ships, which archaeologist Cemal Pulak says he believes were all wiped out by a giant storm more than 1,000 years ago.

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