19 January 2022 The Future is the Product of the Past

The Enchanting Ancient City of Rome “Sagalassos”

The archaeological site of Sagalassos is a very important and well-preserved settlement located in a magnificent mountain landscape, 7 km north from a village named Ağlasun (province of Burdur, south-west Turkey). Sagalassos is 1,750 meters above sea level.

Sagalassos was the most important city of ancient Pisidia, situated in the Taurus Mountain chain with the Mediterranean Sea to the south and the Anatolian plateau to the north.

Although Sagalassos appears to be a great Greco-Roman settlement, its origins can be traced as far back as the Hittites (1300 BC), who referred to the city as Salawassa. The early settlers preferred a fortified location on the upper mountain slopes. Despite the elevation, the city is kept warm by the fact that the chosen location faces south, while winters here are still cold.

When Alexander the Great came to conquer the area in 333BC, the people of Sagalassos fought back valiantly before succumbing.  It is believed that Alexander had the Heroon constructed in his honor at this time.

Sagalassos passed from ruler to ruler after Alexander’s conquest, until it, like the rest of the region, fell under Roman influence. This was the wealthiest era in the city’s history, and many of Sagalassos’ finest monuments were constructed during this time. Emperors were honored with colossal statues, and Hadrian had the magnificent theatre built on the hill above the capital.

Sagalassos
The magnificent fountain backing the upper square.

After centuries of Hellenization and Roman rule, Sagalassos underwent a third significant transformation in the fourth century: the city became Christian. Significant administrative changes followed, and construction work resumed began at the end of the fourth century following a roughly 235-year hiatus. The city’s elites were less interested than before. From the fifth century on, Christianization widely influenced the architecture of Sagalassos.

About 400AD, city walls were built, signaling an increasing danger of invasion. A series of earthquakes proved to be the largest threat to the region, and a massive earthquake in 590 effectively ended the great city. Sagalassos was deserted though small settlements remained in the region (near the city and down in the valley).

The Heroon of Sagalassos
The Heroon of Sagalassos, thought to have been built by Alexander the Great.

At the same time, the neighboring town of Ağlasun also developed. Sagalassos survived today in Ağlasun, and its name comes from this ancient city. Ağlasun was founded in the Selçuk dynasty in the 13th century when caravanserai and hamams were built near the current city square. It was a booming center in the 16th century when it hosted a regional market.

The city has been excavated since 1990 by archaeologists from the University of Leuven in Belgium.

Among the impressive finds are a beautifully intact theater built by Emperor Hadrian, many ornate fountains (Nymphaeum), the most impressive of which is the Antoninskaya Fountain in the upper agora, and the Heroon, or hero statue, built overlooking the city. these are the remains of the Roman baths, the markets, the bouleuterion (council theater), and the colonnaded streets overlooking the valley far below. The signage in Sagalassos is excellent and very informative, so you will easily be able to find out which monument is which and what the story behind it is.

sagalassos
Sagalassos.

The site has a huge Roman bath, a library, a city mansion with more than 80 rooms, and a theater that can accommodate 9,000 people, as well as other monuments of the city that are 1,000 years old.

The excavated finds have been exhibited in the Burdur Museum.

How to get there 

Car

Head east from D650 (Burdur highway in Antalya) (from the south, follow the D685, from the north to the Burdur Ağlasun highway), to the town of Ağlasun. In the town, you will see signposts that will guide you uphill through the town and north through the mountains to the Sagarassos.

Other

If you don’t have a car but still want to visit Sagalassos, you can take a coach bus to the cities of Burdur or Bucak, from where you should be able to catch a minibus to the village of Ağlasun. From Ağlasun, you can take a twisting 7.5-kilometer trek up the mountains or try to find a taxi in town.

Banner
Related Post

14,000-year-old settlement discovered in western Turkey

26 November 2021

26 November 2021

During the rescue excavation carried out in a cave in Dikili, İzmir, in western Turkey, 14 thousand-year-old stone tools and...

Water Cultu in Hittites and Eflatunpınar Hittite Water Monument

4 February 2021

4 February 2021

The Hittites, which left their mark on the Bronze Age period in Anatolia, is a society that draws attention with...

Excavation in Larissa finds a Hellenistic era sanctuary

27 November 2021

27 November 2021

The Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sport reported on Friday the discovery of ancient Greek and Hellenistic era structures at...

Altar site for Greek goddess Demeter unearthed in Turkey’s ancient city of Blaundus

21 December 2021

21 December 2021

An altar site for the Greek goddess Demeter was unearthed during the ongoing excavations in the ancient city of Blaundus,...

3600 years old Unique ancient drinking bowls on display at Boğazkale Museum

15 August 2021

15 August 2021

The 3,600-year-old fist-shaped drinking bowls found in excavations in Hattusa, the capital of the Hittite Civilization, which shaped the Anatolian...

Artvin Demirkapı/Arılı rock paintings give information about Anatolian Bronze Age Nomadic

14 December 2021

14 December 2021

Rock paintings are material cultural assets that provide us with unique information about the socio-cultural structure, religious beliefs, and rituals,...

2,700-Year-Old Fragrance Containers Stretching From Egypt to Anatolia

27 April 2021

27 April 2021

The 2,700-year-old  fragrance containers reflecting the ancient Egyptian culture are exhibited for the first time in the private treasure room...

Leptis Magna was once one of the most important African cities of the Roman Empire

28 September 2021

28 September 2021

The ancient city of Leptis Magna, as was its name in antiquity, was once one of the most prominent and...

A burial complex and an Ancient Dog Statue have been unearthed during excavations in Appio Latino quarter the Rome

8 January 2022

8 January 2022

Workers laying pipes for utility company Acea at Via Luigi Tosti in Rome’s Appio Latino quarter have unearthed an ancient...

Stunning carved stone depicting a mystery naked horseman is discovered at the Roman fort of Vindolanda

30 June 2021

30 June 2021

Near Hadrian’s Wall in northern England, archaeologists discovered a carved sandstone slab portraying a naked horseman. During the annual excavations...

Turkey’s Taş Tepeler marks the beginning of civilization

14 October 2021

14 October 2021

There is still plenty to learn about the Neolithic Age!  The vast land of Taş Tepeler, which houses other sites...

Roman Canal and Road Uncovered in The Netherlands near UNESCO heritage sites

30 July 2021

30 July 2021

Dutch archaeologists that a canal and gravel road thought to have been built and used by the Roman military have...

30 Graves Found in the Basilica-Planned Ancient City

4 April 2021

4 April 2021

Kibyra ancient city is situated south of Turkey, located in the town Gölhisar in the southwestern part of Burdur Province,...

Getting to Know Matar Kubilea

8 February 2021

8 February 2021

Hittite state’s, With its collapse in 1200-1190 BC, Anatolia entered a period of drift from holistic to dispersal. (The Hittite...

Two rock chambers thought to be dining rooms unearthed at ‘House of Muses’ in southeastern Turkey

27 July 2021

27 July 2021

House of Muses, a Roman-era house named after the muse mosaics found in the area located in the ancient city...

Comments
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *