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Ancient city transported to cyber world with new project

Bringing a 5,000-year-old city into the information age, authorities in Kütahya (Greek Kotyaion), have launched a new multimedia project to promote the site on the Internet. Located at www.aizanoi.com, the site has information in four languages

Acroterion with Temple of Zeus in the background [Credit: Wikipedia]
Local authorities in Kütahya are hoping to increase awareness of the local ancient city of Aizanoi with a new online photo project that will allow web users a chance to glimpse the beauty of the site.

The inner Aegean province’s Çavdarhisar District Governor’s Office has provided 69 digital photos showing the richness of Aizanoi in an effort to encourage people to visit the ancient city, along with information in Turkish, English, Japanese and German.

The site contains pictures of Aizanoi’s most famous sites, including the Zeus Shrine, a theater with a 20,000-person capacity, a stadium, two baths, the first stock market in the world, a columned street, five bridges, the “Meter Steunene” holy place, a necropolis, arches and aqueducts.

Theatre-stadium complex [Credit: Wikipedia]
The shrine is notable for depicting official correspondence between the Roman Emperor Hadrian and city governors on its façade.

Discovered by European travelers in the early 1800s, Aizanoi is also known as “The Second Ephesus” for its resemblance to Turkey’s most famous ancient Greek city in İzmir (Smyrna).

Excavations at the area have been continuing in the area for the last four decades but are scheduled to pause next month.

The name “Aizanoi” comes from the mythological hero “Azan”, one of three sons of Arcas and the nymph Erato, legendary ancestors of the Phrygians. The city is believed to date back to 3000 B.C. During the Hellenistic era, Aizanoi was seized by the Pergamon Kingdom and Bithynia from time to time. The city later fell under Roman rule but gradually declined in importance in the early Byzantine era (seventh century). Later, in Seljuk times, the temple hill was converted into a citadel (Turkish: hisar) by Çavdar Tatars, after which the recent settlement of Çavdarhisar is named.

Macellum, inscribed with the Price Edict of Diocletian [Credit: Wikipedia]
According to archaeological specialists, construction on the stadium and the theater began in 160 A.D. and continued until the third century.

Notably, a round-shaped structure dating back to the second century A.D. contains a copy of a paper from Emperor Diocletian that was written in 301 A.D. that outlined regulations on sales prices for goods in the market. Because of the document, many have claimed that Aizanoi possessed the world’s first stock market in its Macellum building.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News [August 22, 2012]

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