ARCHAEOLOGY > Rich Greek graffiti found in İzmir agora

İZMİR - Doğan News Agency

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The graffiti shows daily life in the Hellenistic and Roman periods. DHA photo

The graffiti shows daily life in the Hellenistic and Roman periods. DHA photo

A rich Greek graffiti collection has been found in the İzmir agora during excavation work in the area. The graffiti shows daily life in the Hellenistic and Roman periods.

The graffiti is estimated to date back to the 2nd and 4th centuries A.D. Experts have said the graffiti was the richest Greek graffiti collection in the world. Besides writing and paintings done with paint, there are also dozens of carvings on the wall.

The graffiti shows that İzmir was very tolerant even in ancient times. The writings on the wall mention the names of different cities, showing tolerance of other cultures.

There are many different figures in the graffiti, from trade ships to gladiators. There are also confessions; one read, “I love someone who does not love me.” One inscription read, “The gods healed my eyes, this is why I dedicate an oil lamp to the gods.” Another piece of graffiti read, “The one who ensouls,” which symbolized Jesus Christ in early Christianity. There are also riddles that have not yet been solved on the walls.

Professor Cumhur Tanrıver said İzmir had the most Greek graffiti in the world. “There are some pieces of graffiti under the plaster as well that we cannot prepare yet. We are having talks with Swiss experts to uncover them without damaging the ones on the top layer.”


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Notice on comments

Peter Lambson

7/14/2013 10:40:12 PM

Actually, Turkey is the fortunate custodian of the cultures that made Anatolia home for thousands of years. Geographically and culturally, Turkey is an overlay of Greek, Armenian, Persian and Arabic cultures that predate and pre-existed the arrival of the Turks. The Turks absorbed the Byzantine Empire, its culture and traditions--let's get that part straight, then we can talk about Greece and Turkey being "sisters."


7/14/2013 9:07:11 PM

A.Dealmagro:Greece invented wine and Turkey banishes it after 10 p.m.because Islam say it's a sin.It is obvious by this small example that the two countries are not"cuturally sisters", nor the Greeks chose to be in proximity with Turks (Turks came from central Asia here), Greeks already lived here for thousands of years. I think the relationship between the rapist and his victim is the proper metaphor for the two countries relationship, not the sisterhood one that you used.


7/14/2013 7:45:12 PM

So, who injected nationalism into this subject? Ancient Greeks did not even have such a concept, neither did multitude of conquerors and rulers that came after them in centuries that followed. Curiously though, Israel today claims "unbroken chain" of ownership of Palestine based on thousands of years old myths and artifacts. Good thing I am not a paranoid person, but some of my countrymen are :)

andrea dealmagro

7/14/2013 3:50:39 PM

Geographically and culturally, Greece and Turkey are sisters, who have had their disagreements but are bound by proximity and history nonetheless.

Mehmet Turk

7/14/2013 9:36:46 AM

Greek? Why Greek? If Baclava, Kebabs, Revani, and multiples of other Turkish cuisines are "Greek food" then all Greek art, ruins etc of Greece should be Turkish.


7/13/2013 8:47:58 PM

Greek graffiti in Izmir?How come?Izmir is in Turkey.How dare the Greeks do graffiti in turkish walls?What were they doing there?


7/13/2013 6:27:19 PM

Well. It is good to know that some things do not change much!

andrea dealmagro

7/13/2013 4:15:01 AM

What a lovely photo! A day does not pass without some new marvelous archaeological find in Turkey. I hope that the many similar sites survive the civil war in Syria.
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