Ancient city of Metropolis delivers new treasures

An ancient Greek and Roman city called Metropolis within the borders of the Turkish province of Izmir has delivered many precious gifts over the course of three decades, the latest being the statue of a noblewoman.

Excavations in the city of Metropolis, an ancient town in the Torbali district of Izmir, between the districts of Yenikoy and Ozbey, have continued since 1990. The history of Metropolis dates back to the earliest settlements of the Upper Neolithic Age classical age, from the Hellenistic age to the Roman and Byzantine periods, to the times of chieftaincy in the Ottoman Empire.

The excavations are being carried out with the permission and support of the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Now in his 31st year, he promises to unearth many treasures from the past.

The excavation team is led by Professor Serdar Aybek from the Department of Archeology at Manisa Celal Bayar University. He and his team plan to dig centers of public and religious life like streams and a church.

Human figures and geometric patterns will appear in all their colorful splendor as the excavation team cleans up the mosaics found in the Mosaic Room. (Courtesy of the Sabanci Foundation)

The city of Metropolis is known as “the city of the mother goddess” due to pagan beliefs deifying female fertility figures. During this year’s excavations, the team plans to dig two newly discovered water cisterns and unearth four interconnected cisterns that were used to store water.

Aybek says they are delighted to witness the emergence of an ancient city over the past 30 years, seeing the transformation of a barren hill into an ancient city and a most important archaeological arena.

“The transformation has been made possible with the support of our state first, and also the support of institutions from all walks of life as well as even individuals. We too are part of this great project as students, workers and colleagues, ”he notes. “We are already preparing new research, projects and applications for the coming years at Metropolis. “

Archaeologists have been excavating the city of Metropolis in Izmir, Turkey for 30 years.

Archaeologists have been excavating the city of Metropolis in Izmir, Turkey for 30 years. ()

The Sabanci Foundation has supported the excavations of the ancient city Metropolis for 18 years. Managing Director Nevgul Bilsen Safkan said the foundation believes the excavation is a “very valuable bridge from the past to the present to the nations that lived on this soil, contributing to archaeological science and continuing to illuminate history.”

Safkan continues to say that the “magnificent” female statue found in the early days of the 2021 excavation in June delighted them endlessly: “We are very excited to see what comes out of the excavation this year. year in the Goddess Mother City – Metropolis.

The sculpture of a noblewoman, inspired by a Greek statue sculpted by a famous artist, was the first significant find of the 2021 season in the ancient city of Metropolis.

The sculpture of a noblewoman, inspired by a Greek statue sculpted by a famous artist, was the first significant find of the 2021 season in the ancient city of Metropolis. (Courtesy of the Sabanci Foundation)

A statue of a nobleman unearthed in 2021

The female statue of which Safkan speaks is a recent find, excavated during the first days of excavations in the 2021 season. The statue was discovered in the city center, which was enlarged during the Roman Empire, in a recently unearthed public building .

The marble statue is believed to be modeled after an important statue created during the heyday of ancient sculpture, and was created around the first and second centuries AD in honor of a noblewoman from Metropolis.

In the same area, finds were made of pieces of other sculptures and plinths, suggesting that the public arena housed sculptures honoring the philanthropic residents of Metropolis. The excavation team believes that their continued work will result in the discovery of similar finds.

The city of Metropolis has an amphitheater filled with carved marble seats of honor decorated with griffins.

The city of Metropolis has an amphitheater filled with carved marble seats of honor decorated with griffins. (Courtesy of the Sabanci Foundation)

Church of Araplidere to unearth, mosaics to clean

In 2021, the excavation team begins to unearth a complex of churches from the Late Roman period that would prove that Metropolis was an important religious center in its later years.

Likewise, the excavation team will focus on cleaning up fairly well preserved mosaics spread over a large area. Cleaning up the lime deposits that have built up over time should bring out the rich color and patterns of the tiles.

During excavations carried out over the decades, discoveries have been made of buildings and sites that make up the texture of the ancient city, such as a theater belonging to the Hellenistic period, as well as two Roman baths, baths and complexes Palaestra (sports arena), a hall paved with mosaics, a peristyle house (with a continuous porch and a row of columns), shops, public toilets, avenues and streets.

Objects discovered during the excavations can be seen at the Izmir Archaeological Museum, the Izmir History and Art Museum, and the Selcuk Efes Museum.

Source: TRT World

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