Turkish archaeologist complains after sponsors refuse to fund brothel excavation
ANTALYA – Doğan News Agency
DHA photoExcavation teams at an ancient site in the southern province of Antalya are struggling to find sponsors after it emerged that the site contains an ancient brothel, the head of the excavation team, Professor Hüseyin Sabri Alanyalı, has said.
“Our budget from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism has fallen drastically. It has dropped by two thirds compared to last year. That’s why we’re obliged to postpone some of the work we want to do,” Alanyalı, the head of the excavation team at the ancient city of Side in Antalya and a professor in the Archeology Department of Anadolu University.
Alanyalı said they will wrap up this season’s work early this year, on Aug. 15, due to financial difficulties.
“If we can find a sponsor, we want to complete our work at the Temple of Apollo, the Temple of Athena and around the basilica,” he said.
He particularly cited the discovery of the brothel as a reason for why the team will now struggle to find new sponsors for the work.
“Sometimes we find ourselves in interesting situations. For example, there is a brothel structure at the ancient site of Side. When those who are thinking about sponsoring us ask about the purpose of the structure in ancient times, they change their minds when we say it was a ‘love house’ [brothel] or a ‘toilet,’” Alanyalı stated.
This year’s excavation will be carried out by a team of 60 experts, including 30 foreigners, across five areas, he added. Excavation efforts at Side date back to 1967 but they were restarted only after 2009.
“We are trying to revive a sleeping giant that dates back thousands of years with our studies,” Alanyalı said.