Dara

  Dara (also called Daras) is an old fortress now located in the village of Oğuz in the Mêrdin Province in Northern Kurdistan.   Some very interesting remains and

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Dara (also called Daras) is an old fortress now located in the village of Oğuz in the Mêrdin Province in Northern Kurdistan.

 

Some very interesting remains and ruins exist at the site of Dara. In 506 BC the Anastasias fortified the city with thick walls and high towers. With natural resources of stone and water, and in close proximity to the Roman-Persian border, this site was an ideal military location for fortification. Persian advancements against the city of Dara occured periodically for the next 100 years. The most famous battle we know of was fought in 530 AD between the Romans and Persians, and was recorded by the ancient military historian Procopios. Descriptions include a tactical deep trench, sword fighting, and the Persian retreat including the carrying of the dead by horseback.[i]

 

According to Procopios, the building was not well-made as it was done in haste. Roman Emperor Justinian reinforced the walls of the fortress and built them higher for better protection. He also added a moat about the walls. The Emperor also built a dam to prohibit flooding and conduits to bring drinking water to various parts of the city.[ii]

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[i] Christopher Lillington-Martin. "Archaeological and Ancient Literary Evidence for a Battle Near Dara Gap, Turkey, Topography, Texts, and Trenches." Academia.edu. Retrieved 2014-04-23.

 

[ii] "The Buildings of Procopius." The University of Chicago. Retrieved 2014-04-23.

The historical ruins of Dara are within the village of Oguz and the nearest large city is Mardin. Most visitors take a daytrip from Mardin to visit the Dara fortress by hired minibus, taxi, or rental car. You may meet local residents who wish to give you a tour of the ruins for a small fee.

Outside the town of Oguz, there are also some nice geological features to explore including canyons, cave churches, and cemeteries.

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