Excavation starts in ancient city unconquered by Alexander the Great
ANTALYA – Demirören News Agency
Archaeologists have started excavation works in the 3,000-year-old ancient city of Sillyon, located in the Serik district of the southern province of Antalya, known for its strong resistance that Alexander the Great could not conquer.
“The existence of the ancient city is known since the 18th century, but until now, no scientific work has been done. 2020 will be a milestone for Sillyon,” said Murat Taşkıran, head of the excavation team of 30 experts.
The city, located on the 235-meter-high hill overlooking the Antalya Plain, has been home to Hellenistic, Byzantium and Turkish-Islamic civilizations since its establishment. The city has a Roman theater, castle, bath, tower and a temple on one side, and an Islamic cemetery and a small mosque on the other.
The cemetery of 250 tombs has been recorded as the earliest Islamic cemetery, according to the officials.
The city was once a stronghold of the Persian forces and due to their strong resistance, Sillyon had gone down in history as “the city Alexander the Great failed to conquer.”
“Since the Hellenistic times, the city comes forward with its defense system. Sillyon is one of the rare cities that Alexander could not take. It is the same in the Byzantium times. In the 8th and 9th centuries, all the Arabic raids were repelled,” said Taşkıran, the academic from Pamukkale University.
The city gained its characteristic values in the 4th century, as the first coin of the city was printed and its strongest era was the Byzantium times, according to the experts.
In the Turkish-Islamic era, the city was known as “Karahisar-Tekke Castle.” As Seljuks came to the region, the city became a prominent center, added the experts.
“Sillyon is like a closed book. It is a city that will answer all our questions after excavation,” said the head of the team.