Centuries-old columns unearthed in Laodicea
Columns that are believed to be 1,500 years old have been unearthed during excavation and restoration works in the ancient city of Laodicea, a city established in 3 B.C. in the western province of Denizli.
According to information provided by the Culture and Tourism Ministry, a team led by Professor Celal Şimşek has been carrying out work since 2003 on the Laodicean Church, temple, northern agora, southern porch, eastern pool, as well as the emperor Septimius Severus Monumental Fountain. Recent works have unearthed the monumental columns that collapsed during an earthquake in 494 A.D.
Seven meters underground
Examinations showed that the earthquake ruined the 1,080-meter-high columns to the eastern side of the structure, and that they remained seven meters underground for 1,500 years because of western winds and plant cover.
According to experts, when excavation works are complete, the columns will be restored. The northern agora, which is monumental for Anatolian archaeology, will finally be revived after 1,500 years. Laodicea is very important as it contains several clues to the city’s economy and trade in the past. It was one of the chief seats of Christianity. It is one of seven churches of Asia that is mentioned in the Book of Revelations.
Last June, the ancient city was added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites.