Ancient baths double as schools in Laodicea
DENİZLİ – Anadolu Agency
Laodicea had almost as much importance as Ephesus in terms of its trade, arts, culture and sports.The western province of Denizli is home to 2,000-year-old bathes in the ancient city of Laodicea. According to the head of the Laodicea excavation, Pamukkale University head of the Archaeology Department Professor Celal Şimşek, said the ancient city had as much importance as Ephesus in terms of its trade, arts, culture and sports.
He said few of the Laodicea bathes had so far survived and the 12,000-square-meter bath in the south was the largest in Anatolia. “Bathes were prepared at noon for people to wash and later served as a school in the afternoon. They were places for young people at the same time. The bathes also hosted between 20-30 people for private meetings. The bathes were very important in that era because they were the places for meeting and education, as well as trade centers,” said Şimşek, adding the ancient city had four big bath structures and some have been slightly damaged.
He said Laodicea was the center of arts, culture and trade and that Pamukkale University had been carrying out excavations and restorations there for 11 years.
“It was one of the two mega cities in Anatolia. I estimate 2,000 years ago, Laodicea had a population of 150,000. The typical population for ancient cities fluctuates between 40,000 and 50,000. This shows that Laodicea was such a big city. Excavations are ongoing around the Laodicea Church, Holy Agora, Southern Portico, eastern pool and the Empire Septimius Severus Memorial Fountain.