Ancient 'Sacred Road' unearthed

Ancient 'Sacred Road' unearthed

MUĞLA-Anadolu Agency
Ancient Sacred Road unearthed

The "Sacred Road" between two ancient Greek cities in what is today western Turkey have been unearthed.

The 3,000-year-old pathway in Turkey's Aegean Muğla province listed as tentative World Heritage site by UNESCO runs between Stratonikeia and Lagina.

The towns have remained inhabited throughout the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and Turkish Republic periods.

The Northern City Gate and columns on the Sacred Road as well as the tombs in the regions were unearthed during excavations this year.

"The Sacred Road was used as a ceremonial path for the Lagina Hecate sanctuary from antiquity to the present," dig site head Bilal Söğüt, who is also a lecturer in Turkey's Pamukkale University, told Anadolu Agency.

"It is the most important sacred road that connects the political center Stratonikeia with religious center Lagina," Söğüt said, adding: "In ancient times, priests from Lagina would participate in ceremonies with a girl carrying the key in front and a choir in the back, walking the Holy Road and passing through the Northern City Gate into Stratonikeia.”

Söğüt said one of the highlights of the ancient city were its tombs, adding: "We want to exhibit the most important of the tombs in their original locations, to keep the burial traditions of the Sacred Road alive."

"We aim to bring the Sacred Road to the surface with the original materials of the periods and to open the area to tourism," he said.