Aphrodisias

Aphrodisias was a small city in Caria, Asia Minor. It is located near the modern village of Geyre, Turkey, about 230 km from Izmir. Aphrodisias was named after Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of Love, who had here her unique cult image, the Aphrodite of Aphrodisias.

The city was built near a marble quarry that was extensively exploited in the Hellenistic and Roman periods, and sculptors in marble from Aphrodisias became famous in the Roman world.

Beside all that Aphrodisias is one of Turkey’s least visited archeological sites. The main reason for this is that it’s a bit off the beaten track, some 100 km inland form most other sites.

==== APHRODISIAS – SIGHTSEEING

Temple of Aphrodite – The Temple of Aphrodite was and still is a focal point of the town, but the character of the building was altered when it became a Christian basilica. The Aphrodisian sculptors became renowned and the school of sculpture was very productive much of their work can be seen around the site and in the 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 garland 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 sculptors benefited from a plentiful supply of marble close at hand.

There are many other notable buildings, including the stadium which is said to be probably the best preserved of its kind in the Mediterranean except, perhaps, for the Sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi.

The quality of the marble in Aphrodisias has also resulted in an unusually large number of inscribed items surviving in the city. Upwards of 2000 inscriptions have been recorded by the New York excavators, many of them re-used in the city walls. Most inscriptions are from the Imperial period.

Leave a Comment