The historical artifacts unearthed during the excavations carried out in the ancient city of Stratonikeia, located in the Yatağan district of southwestern Muğla province, shed light on the Turkish period in the ancient city.
Launched in 1977, excavations continue in Stratonikeia, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List and is known as the "city of gladiators" as well as one of the largest marble cities in the world. Valuable artifacts are unearthed every year in the ancient city which bears traces from the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods, the Anatolian principalities and the Ottoman and Republican eras.
Professor Bilal Söğüt, the head of the excavations at the ancient city, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that Stratonikeia, one of the most important cities of the Caria region, was a settlement belonging to the Carians and Leleges, the Indigenous people of Anatolia.
Noting that excavations were carried out in many parts of the ancient city, Söğüt said that the structures in the historical area were preserved as a whole. Söğüt explained that during the excavations carried out in the city, they gradually unearthed every building, from the entrance of the city to the temple of the emperors, the Roman bath to the Turkish house.
"Stratonikeia is a city of living history. During the excavations in the ancient city, 528 artifacts were unearthed in 2021. All of the artifacts we found can be put on display in the museum,” he said. Noting that 112 works belonging to the Turkish period of the city stand out among these findings, Söğüt continued: “We found many works dating back to the era of the Menteşe Principality and later period, including baths, mosques, houses and roads. Among the finds, there are ceramic, metal, glass and wooden artifacts from the Turkish period. Moreover, we unveiled ceramics, cups, weaving materials, knickknacks and arrowheads that were used during that period. These artifacts show that a certain part of the people living in that period were economically rich. Especially seals are the best example of this.”
Söğüt added that the findings indicate that the inhabitants of the region established commercial relations with Aegean island communities, apart from the Turkish principalities around them.