Ankara- Archaeologists in southeastern Turkey have discovered a pot vase dating back to 3700 years, featuring what is believed to be the world’s oldest smiley face emoji.
The ancient emoji was found in the Karkamis site, in Gaziantep, close to the border with Syria.
Turkish media outlets reported Nicolo Marchetti, an Archaeology professor at the University of Bologna in Italy, and head of the excavation teams who said the pot was found in pieces, and specialists put it together and restored its original form.
The pot, which was used for drinking sweet drinks, features a smile-like image.
“This depict is most probably the oldest smile of the world,” Marchetti added.
He continued saying that the Karkamis excavation is considered the biggest in Turkey, as the city expands on a surface of 65 hectares in Turkey, and 35 hectares in Syria.
He said it was among the important cities during the era of the Hittites, who ruled Anatolia and Mesopotamia in 2000 B.C.
Marchetti added that Karkamış was the capital of one of the Hittites’ kingdoms and that excavations started seven years ago in Gaziantep province.
This year’s excavations have been conducted at the site of the city palace and revealed important information that can help in rewriting history.
The Italian archaeologist said the historic pieces found in the city’s cemetery comprise coffins and potteries which were used to preserve ashes of dead people, vases, and ornament tools, and will be all handed over to Gaziantep Museum.
The Hittites’ civilization was based on different convictions and was one of the strong empires at that time. It has controlled Anatolia and north Syria. It also competed with other civilizations that existed in Mesopotamia during that era.
The city of Hatusha, the old capital of Hittites in Çorum, central Turkey has been added on the List of World Heritage in 1986.