Triumphal arch of ancient city to return to former glory

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One of the largest monumental arches remaining on Turkish soil is set to become a major tourist attraction in the southern province of Adana.

Triumphal arch of ancient city to return to former glory
The triumphal arch of Anazarbus before restoration 
[Credit: WikiCommons]

“Restoration works have been continuing to bring the triumphal arch [of Anavarza (Anazarbus)] to tourism. Most parts of the arch are still strong. The restoration process will begin soon. The monumental city gate, which is a legacy from the ancient world, will regain its original [glory] within a year,” said Çukurova University academic Fatih Gülşen, who is acting as a scientific consultant on excavations in the ancient city of Anavarza.

The arch, now located in the province’s Dilekkaya village, was 22.5 meters wide and 10.5 meters high, with a wall thickness of 5.60 meters, he said.

Gülşen said after their victory against the [[Parthians in the first century BC]], the Romans built the arch in Anavarza, the military camp city of the Roman Empire in the east.

Gülşen said 502 block stones that had fallen from the arch would be placed in their original places.

“The monumental gate, which is an artistic wonder, had three arches,” he said. “Some parts of the western arch collapsed but the main arch in the middle and the one in the east still survive. We finished the drawings of the collapsed and missing blocks. The pieces that fell from the gate have been numbered and have undergone laser scanning. We will put them in their own places during the restoration. The triumphal arch has high-quality workmanship; smooth square lime, marble and granite stones were used in the construction. Tougher and high-quality limestone was used in its curves. It is a huge and unique structure decorated with Corinthian heads, columns, pilasters [rectangular columns] and niches. Because of these features, it is the only one in the region that we call Çukurova today, and one of the few monumental city gates within the borders of Turkey.”

Gülşen said the triumphal arch opened onto a 34-meter-wide, 2,700-meter long, two-lane street.

“The Culture and Tourism Ministry has allocated 1 million Turkish Liras for the excavations and research in the ancient city of Anavarza. The revival of the triumphal arch is one of most important stages of our work here. We are working with a team of 45 people – 10 are technical staff.”

Source: Hurriyet Daily News [May 01, 2015]

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