Security walls to protect agora of ancient Smyrna

The İzmir Metropolitan Municipality is preparing to surround the historical Smyrna Agora with specially designed walls. The walls will provide for the safety of the Agora and be 3 meters high and 810 meters long.

Security walls to protect agora of ancient Smyrna
The Agora of Smyrna (columns of the western stoa) [Credit: WikiCommons]
The Smyrna Agora Ancient Site Safety Wall project has been approved by the İzmir Committee for the Protection of Cultural and Natural Properties. The project will protect the historic Agora, which was integrated with the crowded İkiçeşmelik Street after confiscation and destruction works were completed.

The project was designed to reveal the historical richness of the agora and will provide sitting places for people visiting the area. 

At lowest level

Because it is a first degree archaeological site, the excavation for the project will be at the lowest level. The wall will be established above the ground and appear to be free from the ground.

Security walls to protect agora of ancient Smyrna
The wall will be established above the ground of the ancient site and appear to be free from the ground [Credit: Hurriyet/DHA]
The confiscation of the Agora began in 1997 and the first destruction was made in 2005. The municipality has so far spent nearly 27,000 Turkish Liras for the confiscation.

One of the historical structures that had been long been neglected in the Agora has recently been restored by the municipality as Agora Excavation House with support of the İzmir Development Agency.

Also, two other buildings on the İkiçeşmelik Street are being restored by the municipality. When the works are done, Agora will be the city’s center of attraction where the artifacts unearthed from the ancient site will be displayed.

Archaeological excavations in the ancient site are being carried out by a team under the heading of the Dokuz Eylül University Archaeology Department’s Assistant Professor Akın Ersoy.

The agora of Smyrna was built during the Hellenistic era at the base of Pagos Hill, the highest hill in ancient İzmir. It was the commercial, judicial and political nucleus of the ancient city. After a destructive earthquake in 178 AD, Smyrna was rebuilt in the Roman period and used until the Byzantine period. 

Source: Hurriyet Daily News [February 16, 2013]

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