February 2021 in Turkish archaeology

February 2021 was the month of some amazing archaeological discoveries in the area of Turkey. Roman bath ruins were found in Hıdırlık Tower excavations in Antalya while Roman period ruins were unearthed in the parking lot works in Pazarkapı location of Ortahisar district of Trabzon. Sadly, the millennia-old burial tumuli of the Lydian kings became threatened by the treasure hunters in Bintepe area near Sardis. Finally, the comprehensive restoration project was announced for the Theodosian Walls in Istanbul.

Theodosian Walls of Constantinople
Theodosian Walls of Constantinople

Vedius Gymnasium in Ephesus

Vedius Gymnasium is one of the best-preserved buildings that can be seen in Ephesus. It was built between 147 and 149 CE, commissioned by a wealthy Ephesian with a long name of Claudius Publius Vedius Antoninus Phaedrus Sabinianus and his wife, Flavia Papiane. They dedicated the gymnasium to goddess Aphrodite, and their friend and protector — Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius.

This text is a fragment of a guidebook to Ephesus: "The Secrets of Ephesus".

Vedius Gymnasium in Ephesus
Vedius Gymnasium in Ephesus

Great Palace of Constantinople Mosaic Museum

Among the many historical attractions of Istanbul, the Mosaic Museum of the Grand Palace of Constantinople is distinguished not only by its wonderfully preserved relics of the former capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, but also by its surprisingly low popularity among tourists. Situated right next to the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, popularly known as the Blue Mosque, this museum attracts only a few tourists who will find their way through the souvenir stands of Arasta Bazaar.

This text is a fragment of a guidebook to Istanbul: "Byzantine Secrets of Istanbul".

Camel ride
Camel ride

Scholastica Baths in Ephesus

The large building of the so-called Scholastica Baths, discovered in 1926, was constructed in the late first or the early second century CE. P. Quintilius Valens Varius originally built the baths, and the building is sometimes referred to as the Varius Baths. However, the remains that we can see today are from the 4th century CE when a Christian woman named Scholastica carried out the renovation project. Her seated, headless statue still decorates a niche in the apodyterium.

This text is a fragment of a guidebook to Ephesus: "The Secrets of Ephesus".

Scholastica Baths in Ephesus - the statue of Scholastica
Scholastica Baths in Ephesus - the statue of Scholastica

Beylerbeyi Suleyman Pasha Mosque in Edirne

Much to the astonishment of the travellers who arrive to the city, Edirne has it all - historical mosques, baths, bridges, and museums. There is even Suleymaniye Mosque in the town, but it cannot match the splendour of the mosque bearing the same name erected by Sinan in Istanbul. Actually, the Suleymaniye Mosque in Edirne is a very modest structure, erected not on the orders of the sultan but one of the local governors.

Beylerbeyi Suleyman Pasha Mosque in Edirne during the renovation in 2013
Beylerbeyi Suleyman Pasha Mosque in Edirne during the renovation in 2013

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