World’s first 3,700-year-old smiley face to be exhibited in southeastern Turkey

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The world’s first smiley, inscribed on an ancient jug and discovered a few years ago in southeastern Turkey, will be on display at the Gaziantep Archaeological Museum, according to a report on Sunday.

The 3,700-year-old artifact, discovered in the ancient city of Karkamış (Carchemish) in 2017, will be on display by the end of July, Anadolu (AA) agency reported.

Gaziantep museum director Özgür Çomak told AA that the ancient city had been the capital of Hittite civilization and that an excavation team led by Professor Nikolo Marchetti continues to carry out work.

Çomak noted that the clay jug was in fragments when it was discovered and has since been restored.

The pot was discovered during seven years of excavations in the Karkamış district of Gaziantep province, along the Syrian border, under the direction of Nicolo Marchetti, professor of archeology at the University of Bologna in Italy.

Marchetti said his team found a variety of artifacts at the site depicting the era of the Hittites, an ancient civilization and empire believed to have existed in the north-central region of Anatolia.

The Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs are among the sponsors of the excavation project.

Archaeologists in Turkey, which has historically been home to many civilizations, frequently find significant historical artifacts all over the country and try to preserve them with the aim of shedding light on the first human civilizations and passing them on to subsequent generations.

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