Ancient city ruins in Tokat to undergo renewed excavations
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULJul 18, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Jul 18, 2016 12:00 am
Tokat province's Sulusaray district is currently under archaeological excavation in the ancient Roman city of Sebastapolis near a thermal spring. Sebastapolis is believed to have been one of the top five cities in the Black Sea region 2,000 years ago
The ancient city of Sebastapolis in the Sulusaray district of Tokat province in Turkey's Black Sea region is undergoing excavation and restoration work, according to a statement from the provincial director of culture and tourism, Abdurrahman Akyüz, who spoke to Anadolu Agency (AA).
Akyüz said that excavations are being conducted in cooperation with the Museum Administration and Gaziosmanpaşa University (GOÜ). He said: "[In 2016] there will be 45 days of excavation, a continuation of efforts that began in the 1980s and were highlighted by Prince Charles Philip Arthur George of Wales who visited the region in the 1990s and pointed out the importance of the ancient city."
Located 69 kilometers from Tokat's city center in Sulusaray, the ancient city of Sebastapolis is thought to have been founded in the first century B.C., according to some sources. During the time of Roman Emperor Trajan from 98 to 117, the ancient city is thought to have been added to the province of Cappadocia after leaving the provinces of Pontus Galatius and Polemoniacus.
Akyüz explained that Governor Cevdet Can wrote a letter of invitation to Prince Charles in hopes that he will return to the region, adding: "I hope he will come and see the advanced progress made in excavations of the ancient city. I hope that our excavations will reveal positive findings. Our greatest wish is for this effort to reveal historic, great works that will shed light on the history of Tokat. Sebastapolis is a very important ancient city."
GOÜ Faculty of Arts and Art History Department assistant associate professor, Dr. Şengül Dilek Ful, said that the resumption of excavations will include "working with 25 workers and a scientific delegation of 10 people. We plan to continue our work for 45 days." Ful clarified that excavations in 2016 will include an ancient bathhouse, explaining: "We are at an area that we believe belonged to the ancient Romans. In order to determine the perimeters of the bathhouse, we opened two trenches around it. We hope to determine the perimeters of the bathhouse which will likely be qualified as a bath. Since we could not excavate this site previously, we thought it was part of a complex structure but data recently obtained did not prove this theory. Therefore, we now think that this is a small bathhouse."
Located 69 kilometers from Tokat's city center in Sulusaray, the ancient city of Sebastapolis is thought to have been founded in the first century B.C., according to some sources.
During the time of Roman Emperor Trajan from 98 to 117, the ancient city is thought to have been added to the province of Cappadocia after leaving the provinces of Pontus Galatius and Polemoniacus. The ancient city is situated near a major road and is close to thermal springs that are still used today and is believed to have been one of the top five cities in the Black Sea region 2,000 years ago.
Once a symbol of wealth, rulers of the ancient city of Sebastapolis printed currency, an ability that very few cities had during that period. Over time and after major wars, natural disasters and the migration path's waning significance, Sebastapolis was forgotten.