| On 3 months ago

Northern gate of Ancient Greek city Stratonikeia restored by Turkish authorities

By Athens Bureau

The northern gate of the Ancient Greek city of Stratonikeia was restored by archaeologists and conservationists in Turkey.

The Ancient Greek city, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List, is located in southwestern Turkey and was founded by the Seleucid king Antiochus I Soter (281–261 BC), who named it after his wife Stratonice, according to Strabo.

As part of the restoration efforts, the northern city gate and the columns in the square facing the entrance of the city have been raised again after being destroyed in an earthquake in A.D. 139.

Aerial view of the recently restored northern arched gates of the Ancient Greek city of Stratonikeia – June 13, 2021. (AA Photo)

Professor Bilal Söğüt, director of excavations, stated that Stratonikeia was the world’s largest marble city and that they started work on the northern city gate two years ago.

He also said that excavation and restoration works were not only conducted on the northern gate of Stratonikeia, but also the west street, the theatre, the village square and newly discovered areas in the ancient city.

“We placed the footstones, arches and even the covers of the arches on the keystones of the gates in stages,” the professor told told Anadolu Agency (AA).

“Thus, we have raised the gate through which in the past those who came from the Lagina Sanctuary during the Hekate ceremony and the key holders passed,” Söğüt added.

He noted that two entrance doors were built on the North Street and their arches were placed above them.

An aerial view shows the recently restored northern entrance to the Ancient Greek city of Stratonikeia – June 13, 2021. (AA Photo)

“The area where the northern gate is located is one of the important centres of the city. It is very important both for the city and for the ancient period. Because this is the only place in ancient Anatolia that has two entrances like this. There are two entrance gates here and a fountain monument between them. It has two facades. It is decorated with floors and statues,” he said.

“We have restored the gate, which was originally built with the financial support of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius, approximately 1,870 years after it was ruined,” he stated and added: “(We) also revived the street, which was built with the financial support of Maximus, and was destroyed in the earthquake in A.D. 365.”

Söğüt noted that they raised all the elements of the Classical, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and Turkish periods in stages and made it an area for visitors to journey through history.

READ MORE: The most beautiful cities of Ancient Greece.


Athens Bureau