Roman streets of ancient Soli gradually unearthed
MERSİN - Anadolu Agency
DHA PhotosThis year’s excavations will start next week in the ancient city of Soli Pompeipolis, located in the southern province of Mersin’s Mezitli district.
The work will focus on uncovering the rest of a Roman-era street lined with columns.
Dokuz Eylül University Head of Museum Department Professor Remzi Yağcı said the first excavations in Soli Pompeipolis were initiated by Mersin University Archaeology Department in 1999, with much significant data obtained since then.
A very active harbor in the past
During last year’s 37-day excavations, the ancient city was found to be a very active harbor in the 1st B.C. and 1st A.D., said Yağcı, adding the work in 2013 unearthed the columned street and Roman stores in an architectural order.
He said that with a team of 80 people, including archaeologists, architects and students, they would start two-month excavations next week.
Yağcı said the team will work on the restoration of the columned street area and the Roman shops, with most of the team working to uncover the columned street.
“Our goal is to reach the continuation of the street. We will see if restoration can be done in the newly excavated areas and if we can do further projects in this area,” he added.
Yağcı said they also wanted to find early Roman-era artifacts and continue work at Soli Mound with a team.
“Last year, we started a project there related to the 6th and 7th century colonization periods. We want to maintain this project and reveal history,” he said.
Soli, a gate to the world
Mezitli Mayor Neşet Tarhan said the district was home to rich archaeological findings, as Soli Pompeiopolis was an important ancient harbor city.
“All of the Pompeiopolis columns have not been unearthed yet. This place was damaged during a large earthquake but almost 40 percent of the columns still survive,” he said, adding that the city would continue to support archaeological works.
“Soli Pompeiopolis is Mezitli’s gate to the world. We organize festivals here. The richness underground should be uncovered as soon as possible.
They are a world heritage that everyone has right to see,” the mayor said, adding the artifacts unearthed would help promote Mezitli abroad.