Historic Silk Road damaged by marketplace, vehicles
A marketplace is set up every week on the 2,000-year-old Silk Road in Konak district of İzmir, attracting hundreds of people, and because of the rush and many vehicles that are parked, the road at many segments has collapsed. The area should be taken under protection as soon as possible, said Professor Engin Berber.
Believed to have been built in the 1st century in the Roman period, the current state of the historical Silk Road, which is now within the boundaries of Eşrefpaşa district, is heartbreaking.
The road is currently not under protection, and the Eşrefpaşa marketplace has been setting up on this road for many years. The area is also in use as a parking lot.
Professor of International Relations at Ege University, Berber, has carried out many studies on the region and said that the historical road should be protected and excavations should be carried out there.
“This road is 8 meters close to the main street. There are the marketplace and the Agora approximately 500 meters from here. One of the most important aspects that made Ancient Rome superior was its success in engineering. We can show roads, colosseum, waterways, viaducts and bridges as examples. It is no coincidence that these stones are curved. When it rains, water is allowed to flow into water slots. Pavements were also built. These roads were the routes of Roman armies, citizens and slaves,” he said.
Underlining that the area used as a marketplace and parking lot should be taken under protection as soon as possible and excavations should be carried out, Berber said: “Since this area is an archaeological site, excavation should be done. We guess that there may be an ancient theater under the teacher’s house building in the region. This area needs to be completely excavated. Some collapses have occurred. Permissions must be obtained from the authorities and a comprehensive excavation must be carried out here. We should not consider this road alone. This region was the center of ancient İzmir.”