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Agora at ancient Tripoli in Western Turkey found

Ongoing excavations in the ancient city of Tripoli in the western Turkish province of Denizli’s Buldan district have unearthed a 2,000-year-old market place, indicating that the city was a significant center of trade in the past.

Agora at ancient Tripoli in Western Turkey found
Excavations at Tripolis [Credit: Turkish Archaeological News]
Pamukkale University (PAU) Archaeology Department academic and excavation head Bahadır Duman said they had started excavations last week in Tripoli, which was a Graeco-Lydian city located at the intersection of Phrygia, Karia and Lydia in the Hellenistic era.

Works this year were continuing close to a covered gallery to the east of a 2,500-square-meter market place, Duman said. “The restoration of Hierapolis Street, where excavations were mostly finished last year, is also continuing.”

Duman said they found a third marketplace last week when they first commenced excavations, noting that they had accelerated their activity in the area.

“Discovering a new marketplace in Tripoli showed us once again that the city was an important trade center especially in the second century A.D. in the Roman era. It is located to the north of two previously found marketplaces and it covers an area of 300 square meters, which is pretty big. This season our work will focus on this marketplace,” he said.

Duman said Tripoli was situated both on the ancient road passing through Anatolia and on the route of the roads to the western metropolitan areas such as Smyrna and Ephesus.

“This is the reason why the city had been a significant center of trade for many years,” he said.

Textile and cereal trade 

Duman said the newly found marketplace proved that the city also had an important place in terms of the textile and cereal trade.

“The region was one of the places controlling trade in Anatolia,” Duman said, adding that excavations in the shops on the colonnaded street had revealed many fruit seeds.

“Among them were apricot and grape seeds and the remains of walnuts. Of course, some of them were fossilized. We also found amphorae that were used to carry them,” he said, noting that the findings proved that trade occurred in the area at least 2,000 years ago.

Duman said Denizli was known for textiles, marble and travertine. “The excavations carried out in the ancient city of Tripoli, Laodicea and Hierapolis also showed us that the city was a central place in the same sectors 2,000 years ago.”

Source: Hurriyet Daily News [April 03, 2016]

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