https://www.artichaeology.com/ancient-sites-turkey
 
Aphrodisias_Tetrastoon_Theatre_fringe_4430_edited.jpg

APHRODISIAS

APHRODISIAS 

The Ancient Carian City

That Was Named After Aphrodite,

''The Greek Goddess of Love''

Aphrodisias was a small ancient Greek Hellenistic city in the historic Caria cultural region of western Anatolia, Turkey. It is located near the modern village of Geyre, about 100 km east/inland from the coast of the Aegean Sea, and 230 km (140 mi) southeast of İzmir.

Aphrodisias was named after Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, who had here her unique cult image, the Aphrodite of Aphrodisias. According to the Suda, a Byzantine encyclopedic compilation, before the city became known as Aphrodisias (c.3rd century BCE) it had three previous names: Lelégōn Pólis "City of the Leleges"), Megálē Pólis  "Great City"), and Ninóē 

Sometime before 640, in the Late Antique period when it was within the Byzantine Empire, the city was renamed Stauropolis  "City of the Cross"). In 2017 it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.

MapaTopográficoDeAsiaMenor-Caria.png

Click on the pic. to zoom in

Aphrodisias was the metropolis (provincial capital) of the region and Roman province of Caria.

White and blue grey Carian marble was extensively quarried from adjacent slopes in the Hellenistic and Roman periods, for building facades and sculptures. Marble sculptures and sculptors from Aphrodisias became famous in the Roman world. Many examples of statuary have been unearthed in Aphrodisias, and some representations of the Aphrodite of Aphrodisias also survive from other parts of the Roman world, as far afield as Pax Julia in Lusitania.

The city had notable schools for sculpture, as well as philosophy, remaining a centre of paganism until the end of the 5th century. It was destroyed by earthquake in the early 7th century, and never recovered its former prosperity, being reduced to a small fortified settlement on the site of the ancient theatre. Around the same time, it was also renamed to Stauropolis  "city of the Cross" to remove pagan connotations, but already by the 8th century it was known as Caria after the region, which later gave rise to its modern Turkish name, Geyre In Byzantine times, the city was the seat of a fiscal administrative unit (dioikesis).

Aphrodisias was sacked again by the rebel Theodore Mankaphas in 1188, and then by the Seljuk Turks in 1197. It finally fell under Turkish control towards the end of the 13th century

Aphrodisias_-_Tetrapylon_04.jpg

Click on the pic. to zoom in

The site is in an earthquake zone and has suffered a great deal of damage at various times, especially in severe tremors of the 4th and 7th centuries. An added complication was that one of the 4th century earthquakes altered the water table, making parts of the town prone to flooding. Evidence can be seen of emergency plumbing installed to combat this problem.

Aphrodisias never fully recovered from the 7th century earthquake, and fell into disrepair. Part of the town was covered by the modern village of Geyre; some of the cottages were removed in the 20th century to reveal the older city. A new Geyre has been built a short distance away.

The monumental gateway or tetrapylon

Afrodisias_408.jpg

Click on the pic. to zoom in

Temple of Aphrodite

The Temple of Aphrodite was a focal point of the town. The Aphrodisian sculptors became renowned and benefited from a plentiful supply of marble close at hand. The school of sculpture was very productive;  much of their work can be seen around the site and in the Aphrodisias Museum. Many full-length statues were discovered in the region of the agora, and trial and unfinished pieces pointing to a true school are in evidence. Sarcophagi were recovered in various locations, most frequently decorated with designs consisting of festoons and columns. Pilasters have been found showing what are described as "peopled scrolls" with figures of people, birds and animals entwined in acanthus leaves.

The character of the temple building was altered when it became a Christian basilica. The building is believed to have been dismantled in c. 481-484 by order of Emperor Zeno, because the temple had been the focus of Pagan Hellenic opposition against Zeno in Aphrodisias, in support of Illus, who had promised to restore Hellenic rites, which had been suppressed during the Persecution of pagans in the late Roman Empire, to the temples that where still standing. 

 
google.com, ca-pub-6523546477277012, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0