Tomb of Aratos found in southern Turkey
A memorial tomb of mathematician and scientist Aratos, who was the founder of astrology science and lived between 315-245, has been found in the southern province of Mersin’s Mezitli district. The tomb is believed to lie within the excavation area of Soli Pompeiopolis ancient city, which dates back 3,500 years.
The excavations in the ancient city have been headed by Dokuz Eylül University museum management department Professor Remzi Yağcı.
Mezitli Mayor Neşet Tarhan has asked for support to uncover the memorial tomb of Aratos.
“The tomb of Aratos, who lived in Mezitli and was buried in Soli Pompeiopolis, was in danger of destruction as it is in a private property,” said Tarhan.
“Soli Pompeiopolis is an important ancient city. Very important people lived here. The Roman Emperor Pompeii came here and named this place Soli. Aratos’ tomb is here. Who is Aratos? He is the world’s first space scientist, a mathematician and a great scientist. He was born and raised here and has a memorial tomb here. When astronauts took the first step to the moon, the first crater was called Aratos. With the knowledge of NASA, the crater was named after him because he was cared for by NASA. He is known by the world. We also want to make this name heard much more in Turkey. We want the whole world to know him,” he added.
Tarhan said that many well-known names like Ciceron and Alexander the Great lived in Mezitli.
“The area of the mound, where the tomb of Arotos is located, is around 500 square meters. It is located in a person’s vegetable garden. Until recently, this place was covered with bushes, nobody knew about it. We want it to be uncovered. This is not the primary duty of the municipality, but if we have economic power, we can work on it. But this is the duty of the state, the government and the Culture and Tourism Ministry. Everybody says that Mersin is a city of tourism but we cannot get anything with a slogan only. We need to figure out some concrete things. We need to reveal this historical richness and cultural heritage so that the names of Mezitli and Mersin are heard in the world. So that people can come here. Nobody comes here for our roads, parks and gardens. We need to make a difference,” the mayor said.