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2000 Year Old Villa Uncovered in Western Turkey at Tripolis

A 12-room 2000 year old villa, complete with mosaic covered floors and colourful wall frescos, has been discovered in the ruined Turkish city of Tripolis.

Tripolis, Turkey

Tripolis, also known as Apollonia and Neapolis, was an ancient city on the borders of Phrygia, Caria and Lydia, on the northern bank of the upper course of the Maeander river. Magnificent ruins from the city still exist near Yenicekent and mostly date from Roman and Byzantine periods.

In six years of excavations at the site, a 35 strong team have discovered botanical images and geometric figures that adorn mosaics and frescos, the mosaics originating in the Hellenistic period, a period denoted as being between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the Battle of Actium in 31 BC. Believed to be the home of an agricultural merchant, the villa would have been lavish for the age, with a large bath, toilet, lounge and storage rooms alongside several bedrooms all identified during the dig.

Pamukkale University’s Professor Bahadır Duman, head of the excavation team at the site, says that the family who owned the villa may have been involved in the perfume and olive oil trade:

“The construction of this villa decorated with mosaics probably started in late Hellenistic Age, namely some 2,000 years ago. The owner of the villa was probably a leading agriculture dealer as the room floors are covered with mosaics and the walls with colorful frescos and vegetative geometric figures, the villa also has a large bathroom and living room as well a large parental bedroom and bedrooms for children and for house employees. We have also found a spatial area which was used to store various valuable liquids, such as perfume, and olive oil. The family members who lived in this villa might even be in the business of selling these products.” – Professor Bahadır Duman

Covering 600 Square Meters, the villa is believed to be one of a number of dwellings in the area that Professor Duman and his team hope to uncover over the next few years, having already made a number of important finds at the site.

Prof. Bahadır Duman

In 2012 the team at the site concluded there had been an ancient agricultural society within the city, having found traces of fruit production during excavations, including grapes, figs and pomegranates, the site being divided between production and residential areas with a “five-meter-wide and 45-meter-long road” being used for transportation between the two.

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Michael East View All

Michael East is a writer with a wide variety of eclectic tastes including politics, history, archaeology, professional wrestling and British science-fiction. A former Students' Union President and newspaper editor, he has studied at a variety of institutions and graduated in both history and politics.

He is interested in truth, justice and the unAmerican way. Named as TIME Person of the Year in 2006 and 2011, he is known variously as a rake, a libertine and as the King in the North... if to nobody else but himself.

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