Temple dedicated to Zeus unearthed in Metropolis

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Archaeologists have discovered a temple built in honor of Zeus in the ancient Greek city of Metropolis located near İzmir’s Torbalı district. Metropolis has been undergoing excavations since 1990 and is located between the Yeniköy and Özbey neighborhoods of İzmir’s Torbalı district.

Temple dedicated to Zeus unearthed in Metropolis
Aerial view of the Temple of Zeus at Metropolis [Credit: AA]

The city’s history dates back to the late Neolithic Age, spanning the Classical Period, the Hellenistic Era, and the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires.

So far, archaeologists have excavated an ancient theater, a council building, a columned gallery, two public baths, a sports complex, a hall decorated with mosaics, a house, several stores, public toilets and ancient streets from the Roman period.

Moreover, tens of thousands of coins, glass pieces, architectural pieces, sculpture, bones, ivory pieces and pieces of artwork have been unearthed.

According to a written statement released by the Sabancı Foundation, archaeologists completed their most recent work in the ancient city of Metropolis with contributions from the Ministry of Culture and the Tourism Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums.

Temple dedicated to Zeus unearthed in Metropolis
Aerial view of the Temple of Zeus at Metropolis [Credit: AA]

During these extensive excavations they discovered columns, an altar and a pedestal, indicating a cult area dedicated to Zeus.

To the surprise of experts, archaeologists also discovered that Zeus was previously referred to as “Krezimos,” a hitherto unknown epithet of the Greek god.

It is believed that Krezimos means “protective Zeus who brings abundance
and wealth to Metropolis” since Krezimos, which is a unique title to
Metropolis, is similar to the word “crescere,” meaning “to grow” or
“cultivate” in Latin.

According to archaeologists, the cult of Zeus Krezimos began in the 2nd century B.C. and continued into the Roman era.

Temple dedicated to Zeus unearthed in Metropolis
The theatre at Metropolis [Credit: AA]

Serdar Aybek, an associate professor at Manisa Celal Bayar University and appointed the head of the Metropolis excavations, says archaeologists have discovered an area which was dedicated to performing rituals for the Greek gods – marking the first such discovery in the Metropolis excavations.

“We have discovered important information about the city of Metropolis which we have been excavating for the last 25 years. The inscriptions and architectural features that we have discovered indicate that the Krezimos cult only existed in Metropolis,” Aybek said.

He added that the future archaeological studies that will be conducted are crucial to understanding the religious and architectural features of the city.

Source: Daily Sabah [December 17, 2015]

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