Theater of ancient Metropolis crowned with reproduction of griffin seat
KIVANÇ DÜNDAR - İZMİR
An extraordinary discovery
Ancient Metropolis, also known as the city of the Mother Goddess, is located between the neighborhoods of Yeniköy and Özbey overlooking the vast plains of the Torbalı district of the western province of İzmir.
It developed into a planned-city at around the third and second centuries B.C. The city, which was located on major trade routes and whose economy was based on agriculture, continued to flourish during the Roman era.
The objects unearthed through the excavations that commenced in 1989 shed light on life in the ancient city.
According to Prof. Serdar Aybek from the Manisa Celal Bayar University archeology department, who has been leading the excavations in Metropolis, the two sides of the griffin were carved in the form of the body of a panther and the head and wings of an eagle.
“This is a very unique piece from its era. I was lucky to witness its discovery when I was an undergraduate student at the archeology department back in 1995. When we first found it, we could not really make any sense of it. Indeed, there were other seats in the theater but this one was different. It had some extraordinary features,” Aybek said during the ceremony.
“Visitors wanted to see the seat in its original place, in the theater. That is how we came up with the idea of producing a replica of the seat. And we presented this project to the Sabanci Foundation” Aybek said.
“This was the land where women were honored and respected,” said Nevgül Bilsel Safkan, the general manager of the Sabancı Foundation.
“From now on, we will welcome visitors in the Metropolis with the griffin seat. We believe it is important to preserve the findings and help people see those artifacts. More than 11,000 pieces unearthed here are exhibited in museums. I am very happy the seat has returned to Metropolis, as it helps the ancient city gain recognition in the local and international arena,” Safkan said.