Boats to float in ancient city of Aizanoi
Home to the Temple of Zeus — the best preserved temple in Anatolia — the ancient city of Aizanoi had entered the UNESCO Tentative List in 2012. Excavations in the city have been carried out since 2011 by Pamukkale University’s archaeology department.
Speaking to the state-run Anadolu Agency, the head of the excavations, Elif Özer, said German archaeologists were previously working in the ancient city before a decision by the Turkish cabinet in 2011, which brought Turkish archaeologists to the scene.
“We started this year’s works in June. A team of 55 people, including experts, students and local women, worked for three months. We obtained important findings related to the social life of ancient people who lived here. We believe that these works will make great contributions to the scientific world. We will continue working in the ancient city next year,” she said.
Özer said that along with excavations works, some projects were made to revive the ancient life and to draw more local and foreign tourists to the ancient city.
Aizanoi Penkala project
Özer said that works were continuing to realize the Aizanoi Penkalas project in the ancient city.
“The Koca Çay Stream within the borders of Çavdarhisar district is flowing through the ancient city. Its ancient name is Penkalas. We started working here in 2012 with the help of the General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works [DSİ]. We removed nearly 1,000 Roman-era processed stones and sculptures from the water. We made the inventory and drawing of each of them. Later on, the restoration of the ancient Roman-era bridges on the river started. The restoration will be finished in the coming days. The houses around will also be restored,” she said.
“According to the project, the water level of the river will be increased and boats will float between the two bridges just like in the ancient ages. The project finished and has been approved by the Kütahya Cultural and Natural Heritage Preservation Board. The cost of the project is around 6 million Turkish Liras. A different Aizanoi will be seen here when the project is done. Thanks to this project, we believe that more tourists will come to the ancient city and they will be able to join the boat tours,” she added.
The ancient city of Aizanoi is believed to date back to 3,000 B.C. During the Hellenistic era, Aizanoi was seized by the Pergamon Kingdom and Bithynia. The city later fell under Roman rule, but its importance gradually declined in the early years of the Byzantine era.