Zeus Temple partially unearthed in western Turkey
Two-thirds of the Temple of Zeus, whose original state’s copy is exhibited in the Berlin Pergamon Museum, have been unearthed during excavations in the ancient city of Magnesia, located in the Germencik district of the western province of Aydın.
Excavations in the ancient city in Ortaklar neighborhood have been carried out under the leadership of Ankara University archeology department lecturer Associate Professor Görkem Kökdemir.
Speaking to press members, Kökdemir reminded that they reached the entrance gate of the Temple of Zeus two months ago during the excavations carried out in the 26,000-square-meter area known as the “religious agora.”
Stating that the excavations are continuing, Kökdemir said, “The façade of the temple, which has four columns, was completely uncovered. Its steps and its front room, which we call “Pronaos,” were completely unearthed. Now we need to reveal the back of the temple towards the east. If we succeed it, we will reveal the entire temple before the end of this year. This is a huge discovery. So, we are really proud to make it. We did a hard job.”
Kökdemir stated that they continue to work despite the cold weather, adding, “We have now excavated two-thirds of the temple. In the two-thirds section, 70 percent of the original part of the temple remains in place. Pergamon Museum in Berlin displays the copy of this temple. The Germans made it with 5 percent original material and the rest with imitation. We, on the other hand, will do the same display with 70 percent original material where we are now.”
Pointing out that the temple is extremely important in terms of architecture, Kökdemir said, “Architect Hermogenes was the most famous architect of antiquity. The master work of this architect, the Temple of Artemis, is in Magnesia. There was no information about the temple, which was under four meters of filling, but we have obtained very important results regarding the architectural details of the temple during the works we are currently carrying out. This is very important for the world of archaeology and architecture.”