The Hungarian government has put forth a resolution to nationalise and protect the land surrounding the recently discovered tomb of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent.
The resolution also promises 144m HUF (~€48m), of which around two thirds will go toward continued field and laboratory research, with the remaining part to be spent on feasibility studies and planning.
These new developments in funding are expected to enhance the economy of a small Hungarian town and provide opportunities to unearth new discoveries from the ruins of a 16th Century Ottoman settlement.
The whereabouts of the tomb of Süleyman, who died before battle in the southern Hungarian town of Szigetvár, has been debated for centuries, shrouded in mystery and local legends.
Following the Sultan’s death on 7 September 1566, the Grand Vizier arranged for his body to be transported to the Süleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey. However, because of the hot weather and long journey, the Sultan’s heart and organs were removed in Hungary, and were allegedly buried in a legendary golden casket beneath the tent where he died.
Starting in 2013, a new initiative to locate the final resting place of Sultan Süleyman’s organs was funded by both the Turkish and Hungarian states, including the Turkish International Co-operation and Development Agency (TIKA), which sponsors social and cultural projects abroad.
In December 2014, results of a survey by Dr Norbert Pap, professor of political and historical geography at the University of Pécs, revealed that a ruin near the town of Szigetvár was home to a building from the era of the sultan.
With increased funding, and the nationalisation of approximately four hectares of land surrounding Sultan Süleyman’s tomb, the research plan has come under revision, Pap said.
“Compared to the previous idea, the new plan aims to provide more extended, detailed and efficient research.”
“The staff will be bigger and the examinations will be more extended and deeper in quality. We could apply high-tech remote sensing equipment,” Pap added.
As the project enters a more mature period, the team has been invited by prestigious European universities to co-operate and present their research, including within the framework of the Horizon 2020 programme.