Main street revealed in agora of Smyrna

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A part of a street similar to the Arcadian street in the ancient Greek city of Ephesus in İzmir (Smyrna) has been uncovered during excavations at a nearby historical agora.

Main street revealed in agora of Smyrna
The main street in the agora begins from the Faustina gate and continues to the port. When the work is done, tourists will be able to walk on the street [Credit: Hurriyet]

The excavations in the area are being carried out under the leadership of Professor Akın Ersoy and his team. He said the main street, which begins from the Faustina gate and continues to the port, had been found to the researchers’ surprise. “We have also found a fountain on this street. The fountain has a statement that praises a benefactor for his support for the ancient city of Smyrna.”

Ersoy said they had also located a multi-echelon staircase on the street. “The continuation of this staircase goes to an area covered with mosaics. This ancient street is 80 meters long, but it reached the sea. This is the most important street in the agora for the entrance of goods. Just like in Ephesus, the street blocks water and has a very good sewer system. Visitors are prohibited from entering the area at the moment. When the work is done, tourists will be able to walk on this street just like in Ephesus.

The agora of Smyrna was built during the Hellenistic era at the base of Pagos Hill. It was the commercial, judicial and political nucleus of the ancient city. After a destructive earthquake in 178 AD, Smyrna was rebuilt in the Roman period and used until the Byzantine period.

One of the historical structures that had been long been neglected in the agora has recently been restored by the municipality as Agora Excavation House with support of the İzmir Development Agency. 

Source: Hurriyet Daily News [March 19, 2013]

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