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The archaeological site of Assos in Turkey’s northwestern Canakkale province will be closed for 500 days while rehabilitation work is carried out on a nearby slope after rocks and stone fragments fell onto the road leading to Assos antique port. 

The activities of tourism operators and tradesmen in the ancient port were halted as part of a project tendered last month by the Ayvacik District governorship in Canakkale.

On Tuesday, the road leading to the ancient port was closed by gendarmerie teams, setting back plans by visitors.

As part of the project, which is planned to be completed in around 500 days, the slope near the port will be rehabilitated to prevent rock fragments and stones from posing a danger above the port. They had begun to fall due to earthquakes and natural conditions.

Authorities said that businesses in the region will continue their activities after the completion of the rehabilitation work.

Assos, also known as Behramkale, was one of the most important port cities of the ancient age and possesses crucial cultural heritage from the region’s Roman period, including an antique theater, agora, necropolis and walls.

The site, located 17 kilometers (about 11 miles) south of Ayvacik district, was accepted on the UNESCO Tentative List of World Heritage on April 15, 2017.

According to the UNESCO website, Assos, as a significant polis or city-state in the Archaic period, maintained its important role in the region until Byzantine times.

Turkish archaeologists started excavations at Assos in 1981.

The protection, promotion and restoration of the ancient city are being undertaken by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the governorship of Canakkale and the local administration of Behramkale village.

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