Seljuk bath restored in ‘city of gladiators’
The bath in the 3,000-year-old ancient city of Stratonikeia, located in the Aegean province of Muğla’s Yatağan district and also known as the “city of gladiators,” had been covered to prevent further damage. All sections in the bath, including the entrance, a cool room, a tepidity room and its hottest room, were taken inside glass cases for visitors to see.
Speaking to the state-run Anadolu Agency, Professor Bilal Söğüt, a member of Pamukkale University’s archaeology department and the head of Stratonikeia excavations, said pieces found in the bath such as coins, ceramics and other architectural arrangements had shown that the structure was built some 700 years ago.
He said the earliest known Turkish bath in the region has all sections that a bath needed to have.
He said the historic bath was unique and the most important bath in the region.
“The surveying and restoration works were completed in the bath. Plans and drawings were made for these works and it was restored to its original state. We protect the structures of each period in the ancient city of Stratonikeia. Among the structures here we found three more baths and we initiated works in this bath from the Beylics era. This is the only example from the Beylics era in the region. This is why we gave great importance to the restoration of the structure. We made the restoration for people to come and see the structure. We received support from the Southern Aegean Development Agency [GEKA] for our project,” Söğüt said.
He said they also restored a house from the Republic era, which is located right next to the bath.
Söğüt said the bath, which is special culturally and historically, was one of the most popular structures in the central village square in Stratonikeia.
Stating that the bath now served tourism, he added, “This season, visitors of the ancient city will be able to take a tour inside the bath. We made places for people to rest in the bath. We plan to open exhibitions on this field in the future.”
He said they digitalized the bath using a 3D method.
“Visitors can see the original state of the bath through a 3D method. They will see the entire bath with all its sections, like the heating systems and other parts. They will walk on glass and see it underneath,” he said.
He noted that the bath was at the entrance of the ancient city and it was the first place visited by tourists.
The 3,000-year-old ancient city of Stratonikeia, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List, is home to many other Seljuk and Ottoman artifacts.