2 February 2023 The Future is the Product of the Past

Theater of Perinthos Ancient City to be unearthed

The theater area in the Ancient City of Perinthos, whose history dates back to 600 BC, will be unearthed during excavations.

Perinthos Ancient City is located in the Marmaraereğlisi district of Tekirdağ.

Professor Zeynep Koçel Erdem of Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University’s archaeology department, together with archaeologists and professionals in the area, will conduct the excavations. Excavations are expected to last about a year.

Provincial Culture and Tourism Director Ahmet Hacıoğlu told the state-run Anadolu Agency that the Perinthos Basilica was discovered during earlier digs in the ancient city.

Hacıoğlu stated that significant work will be done in the region this year, saying, “Our biggest goal in these excavations is to reveal the largest theater area of Thrace in the ancient city. In addition, history will be revealed during the excavations to be made in the acropolis.”

According to Hacıoğlu, the area of Marmaraereğlisi will become the most significant historical and cultural attraction in Tekirdağ as a result of the excavations.

A general view from the theater area in the ancient city of Perinthos, Tekirdağ, northwestern Turkey. (AA Photo)
A general view from the theater area in the ancient city of Perinthos, Tekirdağ, northwestern Turkey. (AA Photo)

Hacıoğlu described the excavations as “nearly like digging a well with a needle,” adding, “It is something that takes a lot of patience. “I believe that this theater will be the biggest theater center of Thrace at the end of the excavations. Tekirdağ has all kinds of routes in terms of tourism, but there is no route in terms of history and cultural tourism. Tekirdağ will be a very important historical and cultural destination with the excavations to be made in the Perinthos ancient city and the places to be unearthed during the Heraion-Teikhos ancient city excavations later,”  he said.

Professor Zeynep Koçel Erdem stated that it is accepted in the scientific literature that Perinthos was founded by colonists from Samos around 600 B.C.

Erdem stated that excavations in the ancient city will begin shortly, adding, “This year, we will start working with a limited number of teams considering the epidemic conditions. We plan to work with more teams in different areas of the ancient city in the coming years.”

The ancient city has a mostly contemporary settlement, according to Erdem, who adds, “Luckily, the acropolis section has never been touched. The places of large public structures such as temples and theaters are untouched. We will start the excavations in these areas. After the excavations, the people of the city and visitors should be offered something when they come to visit this place. This will be done with various plates and animated pictures. A walking path will be created here.”

Perinthos was a large and prosperous ancient Thrace town on the Propontis. On a little peninsula of the bay that bears its name, it was built like an amphitheater on the declivity of a hill 22 miles west of Selymbria and 56 miles west of Byzantium. It was discovered near the current modern Marmara Ereğlisi, in Turkey.

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