|Metropolis Archeological Excavations|
Sabanci Foundation supports Metropolis Archeological Excavations undertaken by the Metropolis Supporters Society (MESEDER).
The Metropolis Archeological Excavations have been underway since 1990 on behalf of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and Trakya University. The excavation team is led by Assistant Professor Serdar Aybek from the Trakya University Archeology Department. Excavations continue on public buildings and civil spaces, where clues to the life in Metropolis will be unearthed, while drilling continues so as to reveal new structures.
Continuing under the guidance of the Metropolis Supporters Society (MESEDER) and the support of the Sabanci Foundation, the 2012 excavation focused on the northern gallery and the mosaics of Palaestra and the mosaic hall as well as the pools to the north of the Roman bath. Within the framework of the ruins project, informative boards and signposts were placed in specific points in the city, and the Metropolis was cordoned off with fences. Furthermore, in support of the Work Programs for Public Benefit project by İSKUR (Public Employment Services), women in the region were employed in the excavation site.
The ancient city of Metropolis is situated between the Yenikoy and Ozbey villages of the township of Torbali, Izmir. Archeological excavations at the site had been supported by Philip Morris for over 15 years. As of 2003, the Sabanci Foundation has been supporting the project, in order that scientific endeavors come to fruition.
The history of Metropolis dates back to the Neolithic Age, running through the traces of first settlements, the Classical Ages and the Hellenistic Age, further spanning Roman and Byzantium Empires and culminating in Anatolian Turkish Beyliks and the Ottoman era. Buildings, epitaphs, statues, coins, inscriptions, glass and ceramic objects unearthed during the excavation works are now exhibited in Izmir Art and History Museum, Izmir Archeology Museum and Selcuk Efes Museum.
“As per the end of July 2013 excavations, more than 10,000 small artifacts have been recovered since the beginning of the excavation.”
Mysterious Corridors of the Metropolis
At the end of the 2013 excavation season, brick vault corridors of 40-meter length constructed in parallel to exterior walls to the north, south and west of the bath structure were unearthed in well-preserved condition.
The corridors, which were encountered for the first time in the Metropolis, impart clues regarding community life dating back to some 2000 years ago. A peculiar feature of the bath structures from the Roman Empire, the structure that was built in parallel to the exterior wall of the bath to function as a service corridor was used by the staff and attendants employed at the baths.
The Sleeping Beauty of the Metropolis Meets Sunlight
The 2012’s excavations uncovered a 2500-year-old headless woman statue buried in the city walls. The statue was waiting to meet the sunlight for centuries inside the city wall that intersects the Assembly Hall, one of the best-preserved rare examples of Late Hellenistic Period. The statue, 72 artifacts for inventory, and 175 artifacts for study collection have been presented to İzmir Archaeology Museum.
Third Bath in Metropolis
Excavations that lasted throughout 2011 season aimed at delineating the extent of expansion and the borders of the city during the Roman era. Accordingly, the excavation work concentrated around the Roman bath in the “Han Yikigi” site, whose excavation was initiated in 2009, as well as the marble courtyard area located to its east. Palaestra (Wrestling Ground), surrounded by mosaics and covered with marble floors, was fully unearthed.
A new bath structure identified in the north of Palaestra was the most thrilling recovery of the season. Including this structure, the total area of the whole complex was calculated to occupy a 1000-square meter space. Pieces of marble and shards of window glass have been unearthed during the excavations. The numerous oil lamps as well as other small artifacts that have been unearthed point towards a vibrant social life in the bath
The Roman Bath and the Palaestra (Sports Grounds) unearthed
The excavation efforts in 2010 revealed important insight into the remarkable social life in the city. The Roman Bath and Palaestra excavations yielded many building plans, floor mosaics with geometric patterns, and numerous metal, terracotta, bone and glass objects.
The southern border of the “Peristyle House” -a private residence with a marble-lined courtyard mostly unearthed in 2009- was established. The late antiquity walls collapsed on the Stoa, the roofed walkways along the city, were lifted and the western wall was completely cleared. Excavation into the foundation of the ancient structure yielded 2 pithii (storage vessels) and many Hellenistic era ceramics.
For centuries women are fascinated with dressing up
In the excavations that took place in 2009, a grave was found. Within the uncorrupted grave of a young woman dated back to B.C. 150 were 41 perfume bottles, mirrors, a pair of earrings and golden stamps.
For 20 years the excavations in Metropolis, located in Torbalı Izmir, have been continuing. In 2009 findings proved that women’s interest in dressing up have gone back to centuries. For the first time since the beginning of the excavations, the excavation team found the uncorrupted grave of a young woman believed to be about 25 years old. Surrounding the skeleton were 41 perfume bottles along with two gold stamps with a Male head and a bee relief on it, as were cosmetic spoons made from bone and silver. It has once again been proven how much women give importance to their looks and in dressing up.