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The Site & Remainings at Laodicea

The existing remains attest to its former greatness. Its many buildings include a stadium, baths, temples, a gymnasium, two theatres and a bouleuterion (Senate House). On the eastern side, the line of the ancient wall may be distinctly traced, with the remains of the Ephesus gate; there are streets traversing the town, flanked by colonnades and numerous pedestals. North of the town, towards the Lycus, are many sarcophagi, with their covers lying near them, partly embedded in the ground, and all having been long since rifled.

The West theatre has been recently restored (2022) with virtually complete banks of stone seats. Originally built in the Hellenistic period, it held 8000 spectators and was used until the 7th c. AD.

Also much of the vast 35,000 m2 west (or central) agora has been restored with many of its tall 10.8 m columns. The 100 m long and 11 m high back wall is covered with frescoes and is considered important for world archaeology.


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Particularly interesting are the remains of an aqueduct starting several km away at the Baspinar spring in Denizli, and possibly having another more distant source. Unusually, to cross the valley to the south of Laodicea, instead of the usual open channel carried above the level of the city on lofty arches as was the usual practice of the Romans, an inverted siphon was employed consisting of a double pressurised pipeline, descending into the valley and back up to the city. The water pressure in the siphon at the bottom of the valley was a challenge in the absence of strong piping. The low arches supporting the siphon commence near the summit of a low hill to the south of the city where the header tank was located, and thence continue to the first terminal distribution tank (castellum aquae) at the edge of the hill of the city, whose remains are visible to the east of the stadium and South Baths complex. The water was heavily charged with calcareous matter, as several of the arches are covered with a thick encrustation where leaks occurred at later times. The siphon consisted of large carved stone pipes; some of these also are much incrusted, and some completely choked up. The terminal tank has many clay pipes of various diameters for water distribution on the north, east and south sides which, because of the choking by sinter, were replaced in time. To the west of the terminal is a small fountain next to the vaulted gate. The aqueduct appears to have been destroyed by an earthquake, as the remaining arches lean bodily on one side, without being much broken. A second distribution terminal and sedimentation tank is visible 400 m north of the first, to which it was connected via another siphon of travertine blocks, and this one is bigger and supplied most of the city.

Laodikeia,_Turkey_-_roman gymnasium

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    Roman Gymnasium Baths  of laodicea       

In 2015 a rare marble block was found with the inscription of the water law. Issued in 114 AD, it regulated use of water imported from the mountains to Laodicea on pain of 5 to 12.5 thousand denarii fines imposed for polluting water, destroying channels or opening water pipes.

The stadium near the southern extremity of the city is in a good state of preservation. The seats are arranged along two sides of a narrow valley, which was taken advantage of for this purpose, and was closed up at both ends. Towards the west are considerable remains of a subterranean passage, by which chariots and horses were admitted into the arena, with a long inscription over the entrance.

Immediately north of the stadium lies a complex of gymnasium coupled to twin baths peculiar to the region. It is linked to the south agora on its north side and also a bouleuterion. An inscription shows the ensemble was built for Hadrian's visit in 135.

It 2019 a statue of Roman emperor Trajan was unearthed at the site

Water law inscription.

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       Water Law Inscription       


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       The Western Theatre       


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       The Central Bath complex      

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