Aphrodisias Ancient City
Aphrodisias, ancient city is located in Aydın Province, Karacasu County, Geyre village. Findings, obtained from excavations, which are made on the hill, on which theatre leans and called acropolis, show that first settlement here dates back Early Bronze Age, B.C. 2800-2200 years. Ancient sources provide very little information about the city. City was called Ninoe according to Stephanos from Byzantium. It is started to use Aphrodisias name by beginning from Hellenistic period. Name of Aphrodisias Aydın appears on coined silver and bronze coins, minted at the end of B.C. 2nd Century. City is not only an important religious center but also reaches top point with high level of welfare and becomes famaous with developments in the scope of art, literature and idea in Roman period. Although bishopric is settled in the city with Christianity, as Aphrodite cultis very common here, paganism survives in Aphrodisias Aydın for long period. After city is called Stavropolis, paganism survives in Aphrodisias Aydın for long period. After city is called Stavropolis, paganism ends in the city. Anatolian Seljuks dominate the region in 11th and 13th Century. Aphrodisias Aydın is the city of Caria Region. It is accepted that name of Geyre village, established between Aphrodisias site, is moved into 1 km. West of the city after the earthquake in 1956. The first excavations in Aphrodisias are made by a French man, Paul Gauidin, in 1904-1905 years, and then excavations are made by Italian Giulio Jacopi in 1937. Essential great excavations in Aphrodisias are started by Prof. Kenan T. Erim in 1961. He unearths “Sculpturing school” here. Works of sculptors from Aphrodisias Aydın, making sculptures by processing the marbles, obtained from the marble in 2km east of the city, are exported to Mediterranean World. Furthermore, famous men of science, literature and idea such as physician Xenocrates, man of letters Chariton and philosopher Alexsander grow up in the city. Works, unearthed from Aphrodisias excavations, are exhibited in the Musuem within the site. Aphrodisias is the city of beauty goddess Aphrodite.
Temple of Aphrodite in Aphrodisias is constructed according to Ion order in B.C. 1st century. Temple with 13 erected columns is turned into a Christian basilica in A.D. 5th Century. Tetrapylon structure, belonging to period of Emperor Hadrian, is restored and erected. Odeon, which is protected well, is constructed in A.D. 2n Century. Bishop Palace is the structure of A.D. 5th Century. Porhces in the north of Agora are in the dor order and porch in the south is in Ion order and is known as Tiberius Porch due to its construction period. Monumental Roman Baths are constructed during the period of emperor Hadrian (117-138). Pool and basilica building are located in the south of Agora. Theatre, which is constructed in Late Hellenistic period and repaired during the reign of emperor Marcus Aurelius (161-180) in Roman period, has a capacity for 10000 people. Theatre Baths are located in the south of theatre. Agora gate complex is situated in the north of theatre. Stadium structure, which is protected in the best manner in Ancient age, is in the sizes of 262m. X59 m. and it is constructed in A.D. 1st Century and has a capacity for 30000 people. Sebasteion structure, which is a temple in which it is worshipped to the emperor, is decorated with marble reliefs and sculptures, containing emperor and mythological scenes. Sebasteion is derived from “Sebasto” word, which is Greek translation of “Augustus” word in Latin language. Sebastos word means “merciful, proud and great” in Helen language.
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