Discovery of artifacts, ancient roads in Aigai drawing visitors
The discovery of thousands of artifacts and ancient roads during the excavations in the ancient city of Aigai, one of the 12 Aeolian cities in the western province of Manisa, the history of which dates back to the eighth century B.C., is drawing the attention of visitors.
Yusuf Sezgin, an associate professor at Manisa Celal Bayar University’s (MCBU) Archaeology Department and the head of the excavations in the ancient city of Aigai, said that when excavations started in 2004, the number of visitors to the city, which was 1,000 on average, increased day by day and approached 15,000 over the last year.
Excavations have been continuing in the 2,700-year-old ancient city of Aigai, located within the borders of the Köseler neighborhood in the Yunusemre district.
Stating that the 2022 excavation works will start as of May, Sezgin said: “We have had a pandemic for a long time. We were all very bored in our homes. As a result, we have seen a great increase in the number of visitors since last year. Due to its geography and nature, it is a very green area. Streams flow on both sides. In this respect, it is a pleasant place to visit. For this reason, we see that the number of visitors increased drastically, especially in the spring months. Excavations began in 2004 and are continuing.”
Sezgin stated they have two basic visions, one is archaeological excavations and the other is to help visitors easily visit the ancient city. “We have seen that our efforts to uncover ancient roads, which we have been working on since 2004, had an impact on the number of visitors. When visitors come to the city, they walk the 2,000-year-old roads, and we see that they really enjoy it,” he added.
Sezgin stated that the artifacts unearthed from the ancient city would be exhibited at the Manisa Archaeology Museum, which is under construction and is planned to open soon, and said, “We have many artifacts because we have been working there for long years. Most of them are in the Manisa Archaeology Museum. The new museum, which is under construction, will serve in accordance with the modern age. It will open soon. There will be two specially designed halls for Aigai in the museum. One will display Aigai parliament sculptures, and the second hall will display other works.”