2,300 year old road unearthed in ancient city of Termessos


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A 2,300-year-old road has been unearthed in the ancient city of Termessos in the southern Turkish province of Antalya.

2,300 year old road unearthed in ancient city of Termessos
Aerial view of the ancient city Termessos [Credit: Marekchabros/Dronestagram]

No excavation works have yet been carried out in the ancient city, which is located on a natural platform on top of the 1,665-meter-high Solymos mountain (Turkish Güllük Dağı) in the Taurus Mountains.

Stating that he was very excited about the newly found road, Antalya Surveying and Monuments Director Cemil Karabayram said they believe the road between Termessos and Attaleia (Turkish Antalya) may have been used since the prehistoric era.

“The Yenice Strait is the only natural route that connects Pisidia to the sea. Some parts of this road, which we think was used by Alexander the Great, remained under the current asphalt road,” Karabayram added.

He said that for the first time this year they formed an academic council to start excavations in Termessos upon the order of Antalya Governor Münir Karaoğlu, and planning had been made for further steps.

“This city has been protected very well but unfortunately no archaeological excavations have been carried out in the city. We have initiated works in the city walls and found a large main road extending to the south. This find is very important as we also found staircases and passing routes. Termessos will regain its magnificence with the works. We did not have information about the road so far; now we have a road dating back 2,300 years and it still maintains its originality. The road has been affected by earthquakes but it has not been damaged,” Karabayram added.

Termessos is a very important city that belonged to the Pisidia region in the north of Antalya. Alexander the Great surrounded the city in 333 B.C. but failed to conquer it.

The current ruins in the city are from the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine eras, and include walls, a triumphal arch of Hadrian, cisterns, a theater, gymnasium, agora, odeon and heroon.

The end of Termessos came when its aqueduct was crushed in an earthquake, destroying the water supply to the city. The city was abandoned (year unknown), which helps to explain its remarkable state of preservation today.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News [June 24, 2017]



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