Ancient rock divided into two
MANİSA - Anadolu Agency
A huge rock mass in the ancient city of Aigai, located in the western Turkish province of Manisa, has been broken by treasure hunters.
Associate Professor Yusuf Sezgin, from Manisa Celal Bayar University’s Archaeology Department, said the nearly eight-meter-high rock mass in the ancient city was broken into pieces by treasure hunters with “special techniques.”
“Treasure hunters divided the rock into two with the help of drilling tools. They tried to find treasure inside the rock. We informed the police about it and an investigation has been opened. I cannot understand why the rock was broken in two. Most likely a detector gave a signal that there were iron minerals in the rock so they thought there was something valuable in it,” Sezgin said.
He added that ancient ruins and natural beauties in the region were damaged and they believe the rock was deliberately left as a whole in the ancient era.
“It is meaningful that this rock is here. It was probably deliberately left as one piece. We call them tube rocks. If our estimation isn’t mistaken, these rocks symbolize the mother goddess Kybele. The front part of the rock was arranged as a terrace, which verifies our estimations. But after the rock was broken, it disappeared,” Sezgin said.
Aigai, one of the cities established by the ancient Aiol people of western Anatolia, has a history going back 2,800 years in Manisa’s Yunusemre district. Dating back to the 8th century B.C., Aigai was one of the 12 Ionian cities mentioned by Herodotus and is sometimes known as “Nemrut Castle.” The city was a significant center of trade in the Hellenistic era.