Cult of Zeus found in Metropolis
İZMİR – Anadolu Agency
A cult area built for Zeus, the main god of the ancient Helen mythology, has been found in the ancient city of Metropolis, located in Aegean İzmir province’s Torbalı district.
According to a statement made by the Sabancı Foundation, this year’s excavations, carried out by the foundation in collaboration with the Culture and Tourism Ministry, have been completed in the ancient city.
Pieces of columns, which indicate the area was a center of worship, a piece of an altar and a sculpture pedestal have been discovered in the excavation. Detailed examinations made by the excavation teams revealed the region was a cult area dedicated to Zeus.
The excavations also revealed that the main god Zeus was mentioned with the title “Krezimos” in the ancient city of Metropolis for the first time anywhere in the world.
It is believed that Krezimos means “protective Zeus who brings abundance and wealth to Metropolis” since Krezimos, which is a unique title to Metropolis, is similar to the word “crescere,” meaning “to grow” or “cultivate” in Latin.
According to archaeologists, worshipping Zeus Krezimos started in the 2nd century B.C. and continued in the Roman era.
The statement quoted the head of the excavations in the ancient city of Metropolis, Manisa Celal Bayar University Associated Professor Serdar Aybek, as saying, “For the first time a religious area was discovered in the ancient city, where [only] social structures had been discovered so far. We have been following the traces of history in Metropolis for 25 years and this year we found very important data. Both inscriptions and architectural data proved the Zeus Krezimos culture existed only in the ancient city of Metropolis. Further excavations are very important to completely understand the cult area and its structure.”
Sabancı Foundation General Director Zerrin Koyunsağan said the ancient city was open to culture tourism and visitors this year.
The statement said the ancient city of Metropolis, which has been unearthed during excavations since 1990, is located between Torbalı’s Yeniköy and Özbey neighborhoods.
The history of the city date back from the Classical Age to the Hellenistic Age, Roman and Byzantine ages and the Ottoman era, the statement said, and continued:
“The excavations so far have unearthed a Hellenistic era theater, assembly building, portico, two Roman-era bathes, a complex of bath and sports field, a peristillium house, stores, a toilet and streets. Also, tens of thousands of findings including Hellenistic and Roman era ceramics, coins, glasses, architectural pieces and sculptures, have been discovered in the ancient city.”