Work resumes in ancient Parion

Work resumes in ancient Parion

ÇANAKKALE – Anadolu Agency
Work resumes in ancient Parion

AA photo

The customs center in Parion, an ancient port city from the Hellenistic era located in the northwestern province of Çanakkale’s Biga district, is being unearthed this season. 

The head of the excavations, Ondokuz Mayıs University (OMU) Archaeology Department’s Prof. Vedat Keleş, as well as 12 archaeologists, one epigraph, an architect, a restorer, seven conservators and 32 students from 10 different universities, are working in the ancient city this season. 

Work was set to continue in the city’s Roman theater, Roman bath, agora and stores, odeion, southern necropolis and aqueduct. 

Keleş said that they would also work in chamber graves that had been discovered in previous seasons. 

“Besides excavations, we will focus on restoration and conservations works. Movable archaeological findings will be treated in conservation laboratories. We will also work on the land for the restoration and reinforcement of all structures,” he said.

Keleş also provided information about a planned active promotion project for the ancient city titled “A Civilization is Rising: Parion.” Speaking about the project, Keleş said: 

“The project, prepared in collaboration with the [Biga] District Governor’s Office, is financed by the Southern Marmara Development Agency and the main sponsor of the Parion excavations, İÇDAŞ A.Ş. Our goal is to actively promote the ancient city. The project includes many works such as temporary top layer and environmental arrangement of the Roman bath and late Byzantine chapel, promotional brochures, posters, promotional CDs, information panels, lighting projects, kiosks and mockups.” 

Keleş said village meetings would be held throughout the excavation season and the “Little Archaeologists” project would also be organized for the third time. 

“Also, an academic book on the works carried out in the Roman theater has been finished and is ready for publication,” the professor added. 

Important colony 

Parion is located within the boundaries of Kemer village in Biga. It is on the rugged terrain of the Bodrum Cape along the coast of the Marmara Sea. 

Parion was first mentioned by ancient narrators Herodotos and Ksenophon, and later by Strabon. English archaeologist Philipp Hunt discovered that Parion was located in Kemer village, taking into consideration the abundance of ancient coins which were unearthed during the archaeological surface studies conducted at the Troy site in 1801. 

After detailed research, the location of Parion was confirmed by a classical archaeologist W. Leaf in 1911.  

Inscriptions found in Parion in 2014 revealed that the city was the most important colonial city in the region, and perhaps all of Anatolia. They also provided important clues about economic, military and architectural activities in the area, which were supported by theater excavations. 

Parion’s odeon, a building for musical events, could hold 200 people, making it one of the biggest in Anatolia.