The Archaeological Research In The Ancient City Of Metropolis, Supported By The Sabanci Foundation, Starts Its Season 2018
Restoration of the Dionysus mosaic will be commenced
The excavations of the Ancient City of Metropolis, with permission and contributions by the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage And Museums, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, supported by the Sabancı Foundation, has been revealing the mysteries of history for 28 years. The fieldwork of this international archaeological project is going to start on 20th July with a team of scientists from both local and overseas universities led by Prof. Dr. Serdar Aybek, Head of the Department of Archaeology, Manisa Celal Bayar University.
This year, the "City of Mother Goddess” Metropolis will host excavations in the cult area called “Zeus Krezimos”, which was discovered in 2015. The aim of these excavations focusing on the terrace area where the sacred point is situated and its adjacent area is to find something which could help us understand the religious life in Metropolis. With the previous excavations, it was discovered that Metropolis is the first place where Zeus, the main god of Ancient Helen mythology, was called “Krezimos” and that “Krezimos” means the protective Zeus who brings abundance and wealth to Metropolis.
The “Surface Exploration for the Surroundings of the Ancient City of Metropolis” is also intended to continue this year. The aim is to unearth the trade routes, defense and communication network existing in the area containing Metropolis in the ancient era, and to explore the caves around the city.
Research and preservation projects in Metropolis continue side by side
Zerrin Koyunsağan, Vice Chairman of the Sabancı Foundation, stated the Foundation has been happily supporting the excavations for the ancient city of Metropolis for 15 years and “The Metropolis excavations has a special importance among the other work of the Sabancı Foundation in culture & arts as they shed light on the history. Every new piece of information acquired since the very beginning of the excavations manifests once again that there are a lot more to discover under the ground, as well as indicating how rich this land is in respect of historical remains. Thus, we are very proud to be a part of these discoveries and to be able to present the remains and findings to visitors by supporting the Metropolis excavations. We are going to continue our support to Metropolis,” she said.
The leader of the excavation team Prof. Dr. Serdar Aybek indicated that the works in the ancient city of Metropolis continue in several different areas and “In addition to our ongoing archaeological excavations and research in Metropolis, this year we are going to conduct a study on the socio-cultural effects of the excavations on the nearby villages. Simultaneously, we are going to implement our preservation projects and restore the Dionysus Mosaic. We are very excited about our work and very happy to get this opportunity to manifest the importance of the city for the world heritage again and again,” he said.
This year, the agenda of excavations include completing the restoration of the Byzantine Castle and partial restoration of those parts of the castle which need immediate response, as well as the restoration of the Dionysus Mosaic.
Excavations for Stoa and Roman Baths to complete this year
The excavations in the 2,200-year-old Roman Bath-Palaestra Complex, with a section of its rear wall restored in 2017 to its original form, will be finished this year. This year’s agenda also contains continuing the excavations and research in the Metropolis theatre and cleaning the reservoir, which met the water needs of the city in the Byzantine period and which is largely intact.
The ancient city of Metropolis, unearthed day by day thanks to the excavations going on since 1990, is situated between the Yenikoy and Ozbey neighborhoods of the district of Torbali, Izmir. 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.
As a result of the excavations to date, the structures and venues discovered to constitute the texture of an ancient city include a Theatre, a Bouleuterion (Council House), a Stoa (Roofed Colonnade) from the Hellenistic Age, and two Baths, a Bath-Palaestra (Sports Area) Complex, a Mosaic Hall, a Peristyle House, Shops, Public Toilet, Streets and Roads which were all constructed during the Roman Empire Period. The number of small artefacts, including ceramics, coins, glass, architectural pieces, figures, statues, bone and ivory works, and many mineral findings, unearthed during the excavations in these locations and recorded so far exceeds 11 thousand. These artefacts are now exhibited in Izmir Art and History Museum, Izmir Archeology Museum, and Selcuk Efes Museum.