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Excavations end at ancient Greek city of Magarsos

Archaeological excavations in the ancient city of Magarsos, located in the southern Turkish province of Adana, have temporarily ended. Works are expected to resume next season in Magarsos’ theatre’s orchestra and stadium sections.

Excavations end at ancient Greek city of Magarsos
View of the ancient theatre of Magarsos [Credit: AA]
The city was named after the Magarsia sisters of the Temple of Athens, where Alexander the Great sacrificed an animal before going into war with Persian King Darius in 333 BC. The history of the ancient city dates back to 5th century BC.

The excavations in Magarsos were initiated in 2013 with the financial support of the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Museums, as well as the Circulating Capital Enterprise, and have been continuing in collaboration with the Adana Museum Directorate, the Provincial Culture and Tourism Directorate, and Çukurova University’s archaeology department.

The Adana Museum’s deputy director, Nedim Dervişoğlu, said the ancient theatre was unearthed in recent excavations and had a capacity of 4,000 people. The works cost the teams 1.2 million Turkish Liras so far.

Excavations end at ancient Greek city of Magarsos
View of the ancient theatre of Magarsos [Credit: AA]
Now, their goal is to unearth the ancient city’s stadium and temple. The works have been halted due to winter conditions and are expected to restart between March and April, 2017.

He said the teams were working hard in the excavation field. “Excavations will continue next season in the theatre’s orchestra and stadium sections. We will also dig the field where the temple is located. The restoration and conservation projects for the theatre will also be launched,” he added.

The sea-view ancient theatre, which is 150 metres in height and 30 metres in width, will serve culture and art events after the work is completed and the theatre will once again open its curtains after 2,500 years.

Excavations end at ancient Greek city of Magarsos
Theatrical mask found at the ancient theatre of Magarsus [Credit: AA]
The Provincial Culture and Tourism Director Sabri Tari said that following the initiation of archaeological excavations in Magarsos, the ancient city would be introduced to the world with academic works.

“The region surrounding the ancient city will boost tourism in Adana,” he added.

Magarsos was the religious center of Mallos, which was one of the most important cities of Cilicia, famous for its ancient temples.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News [December 29, 2016]

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