The Village was Actually an Ancient City: Exploring Aphrodisias

The Village was Actually an Ancient City: Exploring Aphrodisias



In the year of 1958, the famous photojournalist Ara Güler visited Geyre in Aydın for a dam opening in the resort. While he was turning back from that opening, he got lost in a village around the dam. 



In that village, people were not aware of that they were living in the architectural buildings from the Roman Empire. These historical columns, tombs and structures got Ara Güler’s attention and he took photos of those. To enlighten about the past of these structures, he sent the photos to several institutions but he got zero feedback from none of them.



Local publishers were not the only ones that Ara Güler sent, the Times published the colored photos of the village. Then the news were spread around, archeologists from USA came to Geyre to make a research around the village. After the research, they found out that the village was an ancient city called Aphrodisias.



Since B.C. 500s this ancient city Aphrodisias, which is from the Roman Empire, carries the name of goddess of beauty Aphrodite. With the Christianity, during B.C. 7, the name of the city was Stravpoli (the City of the Cross). During the Byzantine period, it was turned into Kayra, and today it is Geyre.



Because of invasions, religios issues, political reasons and natural disasters, especially strong earthquakes throughout long years, Aphrodisias has became an abandoned ancient city. With the Roman Imperial Augustus’ guardianship, Aphrodisias started to become a city state. 



The most significant value of Aphrodisias was the marble engraving, all marble structures are preserved throughout the years. Especially the marble quarries were the most unique ones, with those marble quarries, Aphrodisias has been in the World Heritage List in 2017.



Today, it is possible to see the masterpieces, statues and structures in the Aphrodisias Museum and the Aphrodisias Temple. There are also the theatre, bathhouses, stadium, Prelacy Palace, Sebasteion Monument and more to visit.





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