Ancient city’s theater unique in Turkey
Archaeologists have unearthed a unique architecture in the ancient city of Prusias ad Hypium, the history of which dates back to the 3rd century B.C.
Excavations have been ongoing in the ancient city of Prusias ad Hypium, which is located in the Konuralp district of Düzce and is called the Ephesus of the western Black Sea.
Declared an Urban Archaeological Site by the Kocaeli Cultural Heritage Preservation Board, Konuralp’s Prusias ad Hypium is expected to become a frequented destination for people after the excavations are over. In the region, there are structures such as the ancient theater, city walls, aqueducts and Roman bridge.
Düzce Municipality Cultural Directorate archaeologist Güldemet Yıldız Dursun stated the ancient theater in Konuralp Prusias ad Hypium is one of the rare historical structures.
“This place is a rival to the ancient city of Ephesus. When you go to Ephesus, you have to go miles to drink a cup of tea. But when you come to Konuralp’s Prusias ad Hypium as a visitor, you will drink your tea in the company of the urban texture. We are preparing the ancient city for tourism over the coming months. We started working in the ancient theater. The reason for this is that there are houses right across from the theater. When you open the window of your house, you cannot see Ephesus, this is simply not possible. You can go to Ephesus for a concert or a theater show but then have to travel back home. But when you stay in a house opposite the theater in Konuralp you have a view overlooking the Prusias theater,” she said.
Stating that Konuralp Prusias ad Hypium is different from the ancient cities of Laodicea, Hierapolis and Ephesus, Dursun said, “In fact, all of these structures represent the Roman period. But we do not want to expropriate this place and demolish people’s houses in order to reveal the theater and the public structures of Roman architecture throughout the ancient city. We have declared this place as an Urban Archaeological Site, not an Archaeological Site. We decided this together. This point of view may be criticized, and it may not be considered correct, but it is a work that takes a lot of time to demolish all the structures here and just dig. For example, we excavated the ancient theater and a very different structure came to light. Digging does not make any sense unless you protect it to a certain extent.”
Dursun said that the city is home to Roman-era public structures, adding, “There are many beautiful Roman-era public buildings here. There are temples. We will unearth them, but we will not leave them alone. We aim to restore the structures after the excavations and protect this area. We want to promote this region. The theater in the ancient city will be the one and only in Turkey since it is located in the settlement area between the houses.”