Istanbul's ancient past unearthed

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Digging through thick mud and an ancient swamp of black clay, archaeologists in Istanbul have discovered a grave that proves the city is 6,000 years older than they previously thought.

The skeletons of two adults and two children lie curled-up, perhaps to save space. Alongside them are pots: gifts placed in the grave to use in the afterlife.

The ancient family was unearthed at the site of a 21st Century rail project.

Historians had believed modern-day Istanbul was first settled around 700 BC. The discovery of the skeletons has revealed far deeper roots.

Neolithic remains were discovered in two Istanbul suburbs in the 1950s and 1980s, but this is the first such find in the historic heart of the city. That has created a stir the other sites never managed.

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