The Future of the Ancient City of Augusta.

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What is the ancient city of augusta?

Augusta is an ancient city of augusta in the southern Anatolia region of Turkey. It was built by King Perseus I around 6th century BC and was settled by people from Greece and Thrace, who named it after their original home in Agdeon, according to myth. The archaeological site consists of a walled acropolis with six massive towers (in Greek called “Pyrgos”), on which sits the partially restored Roman Acropolis Museum, as well as a ruined theatre, odeon (Greek for ‘place of singing’), gymnasium complex and three churches.

The ancient city’s most famous feature is its agora or marketplace at its centre which covers some 600 square metres. It is almost completely surrounded by a city wall. Directly across from the agora is the South Stoa, a covered stoa, or arcade of shops and offices, constructed in the early 2nd century BC. The agora was the administrative center of the city in antiquity, and here citizens gathered to discuss matters such as business, politics and religion.

Augusta’s acropolis is located at an altitude of 1000 meters above sea level on top of a basalt plateau overlooking the surrounding area. There are six towers which served as watchtowers along with two more at west gate facing plains surrounding Augusta.

What is the use of the ancient city of augusta?

• Archaeological research

• Touristic attraction

• Provibrations at universities

• Educational process of students. 

Archaeological research Touristic attraction Provibrations at universities Educational process of students. The area surrounding the ruins has been declared a Cultural Landscape as per law Nr. 677 on February 27, 1998 and can be used for organized excursions. Excavation works in the area are conducted jointly by The Research Institute of Anatolian Civilizations, University of Newcastle Upon Tyne and The Pritzker Program, (therefore we can contribute to those projects with our excavation results).

Who discovered the ancient city of augusta?

Augusta was discovered by the English traveler and writer, James Silk Buckingham in 1827. The name Augusta was proposed by Charles Fellows, who identified the site from aerial photographs taken during a survey of Asia Minor undertaken by his grandfather at the beginning of World War I.

There is an ongoing debate about who will have discovered this city first. The first remarks regarding an alleged ancient city’s existence were made around 1760-1770s by C.Klein or Hesseling or Hesselradt who had been present in Turkey while they were visiting palaces, yazılıks and mosques. It is known that very few people ever visited these places before Ottoman Empire abolished slavery, i.e. before the 18th century. Klein or Hesselradt’s map was published in 1785 and it did not contain any figures and it was not until C.Klein published his text “Über die natürlichen Beschaffenheit der Türkei” that he identified Augusta as a city.

In 1827, James Silk Buckingham, who had visited Greece and Asia Minor, wrote about a supposed ancient city, which he named Augusta. In the first edition of his book Travels in the East (1832), he wrote: “I have found the remains of an older city than Troy with an existing temple of Apollo and some remains of a tower in the circumference.”.

What are the advantages?

The advantages of the excavation site are:

Augusta is an important public site for Anatolian archaeology. The site is protected by a law that prohibits all excavations on the ruins or within a radius of one kilometer from the archaeological remains. This is why we are conducting our excavation in the Central Agora, which has been declared to be protected under Law Nr. 677 (February 27, 1998). The law was created in order to protect the historical and cultural assets that lie in the ancient city of augusta. 

The ancient city has been clearly defined in its western limit with a survey carried out in 1868 by Robert Curzon Pasha who visited Augusta during his second expedition to Asia Minor. The survey drawn by Robert Curzon Pasha clearly delineated the limits of the ancient city and is thus considered to be the basis of today’s archaeological excavations. Under this law, which is known as Law Nr. 677, we are not allowed to conduct excavation works within a radius of one kilometre from the archaeological area. The location of the ancient city on a high rocky plateau has also contributed to its preservation after many centuries.

The excavations at Augusta are being carried out in an area that was once inhabited continuously from the seventh century BCE until world war I. There are a number of important structures that date back to this period including churches, public buildings and other structures. The historical sequence of the layers of settlement are clearly identifiable and these can be used in order to determine the years during which a certain structure was built. The excavations in ancient city of augusta is a common area for archaeology students, so it enables them to participate in real and valuable work, not just have their names on publications. 

Are there any disadvantages?

Unfortunately there are also a number of disadvantages. Firstly, the site is under threat. The site has very limited space and the archaeological area can only be enlarged by removing earth that has been taken away to make room for agriculture. This limits the expansion of the area that we can excavate. Secondly, there is no nearby private or public funding for this kind of excavation at present. There is no budget for this activity and it is almost impossible to obtain grants due to the size of the ancient city of Augusta and its close proximity to many other sites such as Aphrodisias-Eski Aphrodisios or Karahayit (near Mersin).

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