ANTALYA - Anadolu Agency
The southern Turkish province of Antalya’s ancient city of Phaselis, which was the center of perfume production, is to host scientists who will come to the region to carry out a surface survey to reproduce the ancient scents and also to work in other fields in the ancient city
Tourists visiting the ancient city of Phaselis have chance to examine historical structures underwater. The second surface survey will begin soon in the ancient city, and the region’s fauna and flora will also be examined. AA photo
Scientists will carry out surface surveys in the ancient city of Phaselis in the southern province of Antalya’s Kemer district. The goal of the survey is to discover the perfumes that ancient people produced using various plants in the region and the reasons for the mosquitoes that caused people to leave the city.
The second surface survey will begin on Aug. 20 in the ancient city. Not only the archaeological structure of the ancient city but also its fauna and flora will be examined in the survey, coordinated by the Akdeniz University Mediterranean Civilizations Research Institute.
Mediterranean Civilizations Research Institute Director Professor Murat Arslan said that 20 scientists of various disciplines would join the surface survey that would last for a month. He said that Phaselis was discovered by British scientist Francis Beaufort in the 1800s, and excavations had been carried out there since the 1980s by teams under the direction of Professor Cevdet Bayburtluoğlu and Antalya
Museum former director Kayhan Dörtlük.
Arslan said the main street, agora and baths had been unearthed during those excavations, and new excavations had not started in the region since then. “We will work on every field from flora and fauna of the ancient city to its underwater archaeology. Our team is made up of archaeologists, history geographers, epigraphs, who examine writings in historical areas, numismatics, who examine coins and medallions, geophysicists and those who examine underwater fauna. Also, biologists will continue working inside the city. We plan to make the city return to its old days. While doing this, we want to establish a research station there. This station will have teams that will make scientific works for 12 months a year. Summer works will focus on the region’s historical geography,” Arslan said.
Arslan said that Phaselis was prominent in the ancient age with perfume production. He said that perfumes produced there were sent to Athens and Rhodes, and continued, “This is one of our goals; to find out what types of perfumes were produced with which flowers. We want to find these plants and produce them again. These perfume factories could not be discovered so far. We think that there are factories in the city but advanced excavations should be carried out to discover them.”
He also said that they would also work on mosquitoes and hornets unique to the region. “Since Phaselis was located around a lagoon, there was a dense mass of mosquitoes. It caused a malaria outbreak and people living there left the city over time. One of the main reasons why people left the city was also hornets, according to ancient resources,” he said.