Located in the Ağlasun district of southern Burdur province, Sagalassos is an ancient site that has been placed on UNESCO's tentative list of world heritage sites, offering visitors a chance to travel back in time while exploring history that dates back to 333 B.C.
Comprised of a public bath, theater, library, residences, an agora and a fountain that has continued to flow for centuries, Sagalassos is a site that was once among the five leading producers of ceramics during the Roman Empire. Sagalassos was one of the major cities of the Hellenistic period when it was conquered by Alexander the Great.
Extensive excavations and restoration works are ongoing at Sagalassos, whose ancient structure has defied the test of time and now functions as a popular tourist spot. Roughly 14,000 tourists visited Sagalassos during the first six months of this year alone.
Coordinator of the excavations and university professor Jeroen Poblome from Belgium underlined that researchers have discovered a wealth of information about life during the Roman era as a result of systematic archaeological works being conducted at the site.
Emphasizing that Sagalassos is a very special place that is located on unique landscape, Poblome said: "First of all, Sagalassos offers a stunning view. The site is situated in a very beautiful place right in the mountains. We have an amazing panorama view of the region, which changes every day. When you are strolling through Sagalassos, you can see new things at every turn which fascinate people. For example, the Antonin's Fountain which is located on the way to the agora, manifests itself to the eye in a sudden, breathtaking way. This is the nature of Sagalassos," he said.
Poblome stated that tourists can explore many things about ancient history while visiting Sagalossos, adding that one full day must be dedicated to the site in order to explore it. Emphasizing Turkey's historical and archaeological richness, Poblome said: "Sagalassos has a quality and potential that can easily exceed world standards. It is a marvelous example of what an ancient site should be. Here we are displaying what life was like in ancient times. There are many authentic materials showcasing that. The socioeconomic system of the time is also revealed here, displaying the lives of different strata ranging from the richest to the poorest."
Poblome said the excavations are currently ongoing at the site with systematic works being conducted by an extensive team.
Poblome also added that the team of researchers consists of people from different parts of the world, noting: "Many different colleagues, including professors and students, are engaged in the excavation works. No matter whether they come from Europe, Asia, or North America, we are all searching to unearth quality findings that meet global standards. The excavations will continue until the end of August and the restorations will be completed in September depending on weather conditions. The winter may be harsh, so we need to restore the site very carefully during that time."
Poblome closed his remarks by pointing out that tourists visiting Sagalassos are very fond of the site.