Ancient city of Aigai in western Turkey seeks excavation sponsor
The scope of excavations at the ancient Greek city of Aigai (Byzantine Aeolis), located in western Turkey, will be reduced this year because of sponsorship problems after the local municipality cut support over failure to yield results.
|Facade of Aigai's market hall [Credit: Klaus-Peter Simon/WikiCommons]|
The head of the excavations, Celal Bayar University Archaeology Department academic Yusuf Sezgin, said the Manisa Metropolitan Municipality provided sponsorship of the excavations last year, but had opted against continuing this support.
|Facade of market hall seen from the interior [Credit: Klaus-Peter Simon/WikiCommons]|
“The reason why we started work late this year is financial problems. The Manisa Metropolitan Municipality, which provided financial support for our work in 2015, ended this sponsorship this year. Our goal this year was to unearth the ancient theater, which we identified last year. But because of this sponsorship problem we had to postpone work on the theater,” he added.
|Plan of Aigai drawn by Richard Bohn in 1889 [Credit: Richard Bohn/WikiCommons]|
“We have unearthed the roads and visitors are able to stroll around in the ancient city easily. The number of visitors at the site increased threefold in 2015 compared to 2014,” he added.
|Bouleuterion in Aigai [Credit: Klaus-Peter Simon/WikiCommons]|
“Financial support provided by local administrations for excavations normally varies between 50,000 and 150,000 liras, but we gave 500,000 liras. Still we did not see any artifact to draw people to the ancient city. Of course it was only one year, but 500,000 liras is a considerable amount. There is a theater there that was not unearthed. Instead diggings were concentrated around the roads,” Açıkdil said.
|Odeion in Aigai [Credit: Klaus-Peter Simon/WikiCommons]|
Aigai, which dates back to the 8th century B.C. and was one of the 12 Ion cities mentioned by Herodotus, is sometimes known as “Nemrut Castle.” The city was a significant trade center in the Hellenistic era.
Excavations have so far unearthed the city walls, three-storey agora, an assembly building, a stadium, theater and the Temple of Demeter.
One of the recent findings in the city was a satyr statue. Dating back to the 1st century A.D. in the Roman era, the vase-like satyr statue will soon be displayed at the Manisa Museum.
Source: Hurriyet Daily News [July 07, 2016]