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Glass furnace unearthed in ancient Greek city of Metropolis


A glass furnace has been unearthed during excavations in the ancient city of Metropolis in the Turkish province of İzmir. The finds in the furnace show that its ceramics were imported from Athens to the region.

Glass furnace unearthed in ancient Greek city of Metropolis
Aerial view of ancient Metropolis [Credit: Sabancı Foundation]
The works that have been carried out in collaboration with the Culture and Tourism Ministry and the Sabancı Foundation have recently ended in the ancient city.

In a written statement, the head of the excavations, Associate Professor Serdar Aybek, said they found the glass furnace in a Roman bath. “We believe the furnace was used as a firepan for the bath where pools were heated. We also found traces of glass production in the other parts of the bath. So we thought the bath lost its function in the early Byzantine era and then was used as a glass furnace,” he said.

Aybek said the location of the furnace was close to a church. “It made us think that the glass production center was established under the control of the church and it operated to meet the needs of the church.

Lots of ceramics that were found in the Roman bath and the Zeus Krezimos sacred area were produced in Ephesus, Knidos, Parion and Athens. This shows us that the ceramics were imported by the people of Metropolis.”

Aybek added that the ceramic finds also revealed that Metropolis and production centers in other regions interacted with each other.

“We have been tracing history in Metropolis for the past 26 years. This season, we worked mainly in the lower Roman bath, the Palaestra [sports field], which covers an area of some 6,000 square meters and is the largest structure in the city. Mosaic floors, galleries, pools and eating and drinking places in Palaestra indicate that the people of the city gave importance to social life. The glass furnace and glass pieces that we found this season will provide us significant clues about the social, cultural and commercial relations of the era,” he said.

Sabancı Foundation General Director Zerrin Koyunsağan said they would continue supporting the Metropolis excavations.

The ancient city of Metropolis, which has been undergoing excavations since 1990, is located between Yeniköy and Özbey neighborhoods. The history of the city dates back to the Classical Age and continued with the Hellenistic Age, Roman and Byzantine eras, Beylics era and the Ottoman era.

A Hellenistic-era ancient theater, Bouleuterion (assembly building), Stoa (colonnaded gallery), a Roman bath and Palaestra complex, as well as two small baths are among discoveries in the ancient city.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News [January 05, 2017]
TANN

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