Biological Assessment on External Reliefs of the Historical Akdamar Church: Reliefs of Mammals

Adızel Ö., TOYRAN K., Azizoglu E.

ACTA ZOOLOGICA BULGARICA, vol.70, no.3, pp.339-347, 2018 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 70 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.339-347


The Akdamar Church on the Akdamar Island, Lake Van, located within the borders of Bitlis and Van Provinces, is a historical artifact dating back to the XI-th Century. While historical reliefs on the external walls of the church point out religious and cultural values, they also include various biological figures. Reliefs of plants, birds and mammals, virtually as fossils, give significant clues about biological diversity from the region from those periods. In this study, detailed photographs of reliefs representing mammals on the walls of the church were compared with currently known species and species on the reliefs were identified. Thus, similarities between mammal fauna of the region in the past and nowadays were revealed. In this study, a total of 17 mammal species (including three domestic animals) were identified.