Archaeological work under the leadership of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism has resumed in the ancient city of Soli‐Pompeiopolis in Turkey's southern Mersin province. The recent excavations in the archaeological site in the Mezitli district have been focused on uncovering the memorial tomb of Aratus, the famous ancient Greek astronomer and poet of the Hellenistic Period.
Soli‐Pompeiopolis, located in the west part of Mersin, was one of the important ports of the Cicilia region in the second and third centuries B.C. During the fourth century B.C., it was under the sway of the Persians. However, the fact that they minted their own coins shows their autonomy under Persian rule.
After Alexander the Great drove the Persians out of Cicilia, Soli‐Pompeiopolis fell under the rule of the kingdom of Macedon and then the Seleucid Empire. The ancient city lived its heyday during the Hellenistic period under Seleucid rule. Among the famous people from Soli of this period are Philemon, a poet of the New Comedy – a genre that adapted the portrayal of everyday life – the Stoic philosopher Chrysippus and Aratus.
The latest excavations in the ancient city, carried out by a team of 10 under the supervision of professor Remzi Yağcı – head of Dokuz Eylül University Faculty of Letters’ Museology Department – resume in the colonnaded street, where the memorial tomb of Aratus was spotted.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Yağcı said that Aratus was among the most famed people of his period. “His fame even survived to date. Aratus was born in Soli‐Pompeiopolis but died in Pella in central Macedonia. Nevertheless, people built a memorial tomb for him in his birthplace.”
Mentioning the discovery process of the memorial tomb, Yağcı said, "The tomb was discovered by travelers in the 19th century and remained under the ground for many years. A sarcophagus with engravings is seen here. For this reason, it was named Aratus' tomb by the paleographer Victor Langlois. Afterward, Ghevont Alishan has transferred the tomb on the scaled plan. This is a crater-like place, a monumental structure. It has a symbolic meaning. It is not a very practical building functionally, but it has a monumental and symbolic significance.”
Noting their primary aim is to restore the memorial tomb, the professor added, “With restoration and restitution projects, we will turn this place into a world-class center that attracts the attention of history enthusiasts.”
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.