Roman tradition of boats to resume in ancient city
KÜTAHYA - Anadolu Agency
In Roman times, boats used to float along the Penkalas stream through the ancient city of Aizanoi, a historical attraction in the western province of Kütahya’s Çavdarhisar district which is called Turkey’s “second Ephesus.”
By 2020, the boat tradition will be revived. An excavation and revitalization project calls for bringing boats back to the stream, which is now named Koca stream.
This year’s excavation works have recently started the ancient city - home to the best preserved temple in Anatolia, the Zeus Temple.
Head of excavations, Professor Elif Özer of Pamukkale University, said that the excavations had been carried out by Turkish academics in the ancient city since 2011. She said that this year’s work would focus on unearthing the bazaar called “agora.”
Also within the scope of the Aizanoi Penkalas Project, boats would be floated in the ancient city’s stream like in the Roman era, Özer said.
“The Koca stream flows within the borders of the ancient city. The ancient name of the stream was Penkalas,” she said. “The Roman coins depict the Penkalas stream as a man stretched out in repose.”
The project, which began in 2012, calls for raising the water level of the stream and floating boats between the two bridges just as it was in antiquity.
“We took out about 1,000 of the processed stones and statues from the ancient Roman period, which are historical monuments. Each of them was inventoried,” she said.
The restoration of the ancient bridges on the stream are almost complete, she said.
Other modern examples of the project exist in some other countries, but undergoing the project to revive an ancient tradition may make this project unique, she said.
“According to our research, there is no example of our project that depicts the ancient period. The Porsuk Creek in Eskişehir is a modern example in Turkey.
“We believe that thousands of people will come to see it when it is finished,” the professor said.