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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)


"Salvage excavationsare are being carried out at the site of this recently discovered ancient city which will be submerged beneath the waters
of the Yortanlı Dam. Allianoi is situated at Paşa Thermal Spa 18 km from Bergama on the Ivrindi road.

These ruins must be those of Allianoi where the Romanan A Aristides underwent treatment as described in his Sacred Tales (III 6).

The hot springs at Allianoi have a temperature of 45-50°C. The city covers an area of 200 x 300 metres, stretching from east to west. The most important building here is the spa which covers an area of 9700 sqm. Other structures discovered here so far include bridges, roads, shops, fountains and insula dating from the Roman period, Byzantine dwellings, church,
chapels, necropolises, pottery and glass kilns.

Finds also include sculpture, ceramics, metal, bone and glass objects and large numbers of coins.

Allianoi was first settled in late Hellenistic times, but was transformed by a major building programme during the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian (117-138 AD).

Under the Byzantines, secular and religious buildings were constructed on top of those of those of the Roman period and remained in use until the 11th-12th centuries.

The excavations are being carried out in association with the Ministry of Culture, the State Water Administration, Philip Morris Sabanci, the Bergama Yortanlı Rescue Society and Trakya University

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Allianoi is located 18 kms. Northeast of Bergama, on the highway between Bergama-Ivrindi, at a place known as the Pasha Thermal Baths. Rescue excavations at this site have been carried out since 1998, under my scientific leadership and in the name of the Archaeological Museum of Bergama.

The body of the Yortanli Dam whose project was prepared during the 1970’ies for the purpose of irrigating the left bank of Bakircay stream was moved to the boundaries of Pasakoy in 1994, and the foundations of the dam were laid. Allianoi, which has been partially excavated in 7 years of sustained excavations, is now right in the center of the planned dam lake, in danger of being submerged under 17 meters of water. Excavations continue between the dates of June 20 and October 1 every year, with the participation of a team of 30 scientists, most of whom are from Trakya University, and 50 labourers from neighbouring villages.

It has become clear in this process that Allianoi was the second most important health center of Pergamon, and that it was established on a 40.000 m2 area spreading on both sides of Ilya Stream, in a narrow valley to the north of Bakircay. The reason for its establishment at that particular location was the health giving hot springs (currently at 45 degrees C.). The most important structure in Allianoi is the thermal bath building that covers 9000 m2, and that has been well preserved thanks to an alluvial fill. The thermal bath complex that was built inside the stream for maximum use of the hot water, and that is currently unusable because of the water, makes up the most impressive structure of Allianoi from the point of view of architectural planning, degree of preservation and rich yield of artifacts. Apart from the thermal bath, Allianoi is architecturally rich, with peristyllic structures, bridges, passageways, religious structures, cardo, decumanus, streets, insulas and fountains. During the Byzantine period, a church, chapel and residential buildings were constructed with materials gathered in the region.

In excavations between 1998 and 2003, the plan of Allianoi was partially revealed and the city planning approach was clarified. During the excavations season of 2003 the emptying of the alluvial material began in the northern thermal baths, and this work was continued during 2004.

In the KI-A1 and A2 halls of these structures that are located on the south of the Cryptopoticus, the team was able to go down to a depth of 7 meters, and thus discovered niches on the walls and marble and mosaic floors. Not having been used during the Byzantine Era, the rooms and the artifacts discovered were well preserved. The sewage system was identified with mosaics of geometric designs in two rows at a height of 472 cms. With a total of 8 granite columns, and 2 column heads found in-situ. The ceiling of the hall was covered with a 15 cross vault and the inner surface of the vault was decorated with plant motifs in painted stucco.

Taking the whole of the structure and the historic period into consideration, we can conclude that the column heads belong to the first half of the 2nd century A.D. The vaults made of limestone seem to have collapsed at a later date, when the interiors of the structures were filled with sediment.

In 2004, during the work carried out on and to the south of the decumanus, a 3-meter wide road going beyond the 70-75 cm thick temennos walls was discovered. The fact that Allianoi was connected to Pasakoy, where an ancient settlement has already been attested, was proven beyond doubt by the existence of wheel traces.

In conclusion, it was understood during the 2003-2004 seasons that the thermal baths were constructed in two stages. The first stage took place in the first quarter of the second century A.D., and the second stage was constructed in the first half of the third century. Natural disasters that took place after that date had rendered the thermal baths unusable. As for the road discovered on the south of the decumanus, it has indicated that Allianoi had a southern entrance in addition to the eastern and western entrances, and that the road that followed from the southern entrance continued all the way to the ancient settlement at today’s Pasakoy.

Although some artifacts belonging to the early Bronze Age were found near Allianoi, the thermal baths were used only towards the end of the Hellenistic era, and the site was developed into a major health center that used hydro-therapy in the early second century. It was damaged by the earthquakes of 178 and 262 AD, and the northern wing of the thermal baths was partially abandoned, while the southern end was used until the end of the Byzantine Era. However, the results of natural disasters and the deposits carried by the water have led to important chronological and typological results. Allianoi was established on the hot springs, but was filled with alluvial silt at a result of flooding.

In 2004, construction of Yortanli dam was speeded up. That’s why the surface explorations within the dam lake will have to be intensified in future years. A legal process has been launched in Turkey and on International Platforms, to prevent the destruction of the universal cultural values that are uncovered in Allianoi, by flooding for the dam project. A bilingual web page has been established on Allianoi:

In the 2005 excavation season, it is planned to completely uncover the halls in the northern thermal baths and the remainder of the road on the south of the decumanus.
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