Sanctuary entrance structure of Temple of Zeus found
Excavations carried out in the ancient city of Aizanoi in the Çavdarhisar district of the western province of Kütahya have unearthed the entrance gate of the Temple of Zeus with a monumental staircase.
This year, excavations are being carried out by the Kütahya Museum Directorate in the ancient city, which was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List in 2012 and is located 50 kilometers from the city center.
The excavation coordinator, Dumlupınar University (DPU) Archeology Department head Professor Gökhan Coşkun told the state-run Anadolu Agency that the ancient city’s history dates back to about 5,000 years ago.
“During this year’s work, we started to uncover the monumental entrance structure of the sanctuary at the Temple of Zeus, which has been standing for 2,000 years. The remains of this structure are being unearthed day by day. The structure has stairs and we can see that the foundations of the stairs are largely preserved. We can also identify the architectural blocks of the monumental entrance gate, which has been demolished to a large extent. After our work here is completed, the building will be restored to a great extent. People visiting Aizanoi will be able to walk through the agora and pass through this monumental entrance gate to the temple area, just like in ancient times.”
Coşkun underlined that unearthing the monumental entrance gate is an important work in terms of the integrity of the temple area.
The ancient city of Aizanoi is home to the Temple of Zeus, an amphitheater with a capacity of 15,000 people, a stadium with a capacity of 13,500 people adjacent to the theater, two baths, a mosaic bath, a commodity exchange structure, a columned street, five bridges and two agoras, gymnasium (area where sports activities were carried out), Meter Steunene sanctuary, necropolises, an ancient dam, waterways and gate structures.
It is estimated that 80-100,000 people lived in the ancient city during the Roman era.
The excavations were carried out by German archaeologists since 1970 in the region and then Pamukkale University Archeology Department continued works between 2010-2020. The excavations were transferred to the Kütahya Museum Directorate this year.