Excavation season to begin at ancient Metropolis
New excavations will begin on July 20 in the ancient city of Metropolis, located within the borders of the Torbalı district of the Aegean province of İzmir.
Excavations have jointly been carried out in the ancient city for years with the contributions of the Culture and Tourism Ministry and with support from the Sabancı Foundation.
The ancient city of Metropolis, which has been undergoing excavations since 1990, is located between the neighborhoods of Yeniköy and Özbey. The history of the city dates back to the Classical Age and has continued with the Hellenistic Age, the Roman and Byzantine eras, the Beylics era and the Ottoman era.
A Hellenistic-era ancient theater, bouleuterion (assembly building), stoa (colonnaded gallery), a Roman bath and a palaestra complex, as well as two small baths, are among the discoveries in the ancient city.
According to a statement by the Sabancı Foundation, the excavations will be held under the leadership of Manisa Celal Bayar University archeology department president Prof. Serdar Aybek with the participation of various Turkish and foreign academics.
This year, the excavations will focus on an area that belonged to a cult, called “Zeus Krezimos,” according to the statement. During excavations in 2015, the cult site built for Zeus, the main god of Ancient Greek mythology, has been found in the ancient city of Metropolis as important pieces were unearthed. Recorded as the first and only center of worship located in the city center, this area revealed that other beliefs also existed in the city, known as the City of Mother Goddess. Even more, archeological work shows significant archeological findings related to religious ceremonies and rituals carried out in the sacred area.
Pieces of columns with inscriptions, which indicate that the site was a center of worship, a piece of an altar and a pedestal have been discovered in the excavations in the area. Detailed work by the excavation team revealed that the area was a cult site dedicated to Zeus Krezimos. It was discovered that Zeus was referred to with the word “Krezimos” for the first time in world history in ancient Metropolis.
Further details about religious and commercial life
This year, further details about the religious life in the ancient city of Metropolis are aimed to be unearthed.
Caves near the ancient city will also be examined in detail to uncover further details about Metropolis’ trade routes, defense map and communications network, according to the Sabancı Foundation statement.
Saying that a number of conservation activities will be held at the site simultaneously, Aybek noted that the crew would also undertake restoration works of the Dionysos Mosaic.
“We also plan to complete an ongoing restoration project at the Byzantium Castle,” he added.
Excavations works at the 2,200-year-old stoa, Roman bath and the palaestra complex are also planned to be finalized this year.