Ancient Roman temple unearthed in southern Turkey

MERSİN, Turkey
Published 10.08.2016 23:35
Updated 10.08.2016 23:36
Ancient Roman temple unearthed in southern Turkey

The remains of a temple dating back 2,600 years have been unearthed in the ancient city of Soli, located in the southern province of Mersin's Mezitli district. Considered as one of the most important port cities of the Roman era, Soli dates back 3,000 years. The 18th excavation season, which was launched in July, continues with full speed in Soli. According to the head of the excavations, Professor Remzi Yağcı of Dokuz Eylül University's Department of Museology, they unearthed a new building at the site and the archaeological team strongly believes that the structure is a 2,600-year-old temple. Stating that the ancient city of Soli is an important treasure of Cilicia history, Yağcı said: "Wherever you dig, you discover rich remains belonging to the Roman and Byzantine-era. A Roman rectangle-shaped structure built with stones and adobe was discovered in an area called the 'Roman Terrace'."

Yağcı said that they believe the recently found building is an archaic temple that was active in the sixth and fifth centuries B.C. During the excavations, the archaeologists also unearthed many ceramic items, kitchenware and water bottles belonging to different eras.

The excavations in Soli receive TL 50,000 ($16,878) from the Culture and Tourism Ministry, TL 300,000 from the Mersin Metropolitan Municipality and logistic support from the Mezitli Municipality. A team of 70 archaeologists, restorationists, topographical engineers and students aim to unearth the colonization period of Soli by excavating the avenue with columns, mounds and a Roman villa.

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