ADANA – Anadolu Agency
Archaeological excavations in the ancient city of Magarsus, located in the southern province of Adana’s Karataş district, have temporarily ended. Works are expected to resume next season in Magarsus’ theater’s orchestra and stadium sections.
The city was named after the Magarsia sisters of the Temple of Athens, where Macedonian King Alexander the Great sacrificed an animal before going into war with Persian King Darius in 333 B.C. The history of the ancient city dates back to 5th century B.C.
The excavations in Magarsus were initiated in 2013 with the financial support of the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Museums, as well as the Circulating Capital Enterprise, and have been continuing in collaboration with the Adana Museum Directorate, the Provincial Culture and Tourism Directorate, and Çukurova University’s archaeology department.
The Adana Museum’s deputy director, Nedim Dervişoğlu, said the ancient theater was unearthed in recent excavations and had a capacity of 4,000 people. The works cost the teams 1.2 million Turkish Liras so far.
Now, their goal is to unearth the ancient city’s stadium and temple. The works have been halted due to winter conditions and are expected to restart between March and April, 2017.
He said the teams were working hard in the excavation field. “Excavations will continue next season in the theater’s orchestra and stadium sections. We will also dig the field where the temple is located. The restoration and conservation projects for the theater will also be launched,” he added.
The sea-view ancient theater, which is 150 meters in height and 30 meters in width, will serve culture and art events after the work is completed and the theater will once again open its curtains after 2,500 years.
The Provincial Culture and Tourism Director Sabri Tari said that following the initiation of archaeological excavations in Magarsus, the ancient city would be introduced to the world with academic works.
“The region surrounding the ancient city will boost tourism in Adana,” he added.
Magarsus was the religious center of Mallus, which was one of the most important cities of the ancient Cilicia civilization, famous for its ancient temples.