Archaeological excavations in the ancient city of Laodicea, located in the western province of Denizli, have been put on hiatus until March 1 over cold and rainy weather conditions in the region.
Excavations in the ancient city have been ongoing since 2003, according to a written statement made by the Denizli Governor’s Office, and 3,663 artifacts have been unearthed so far. The statement said 1267 artifacts had been found between 2003 and 2007, while the number after 2008, when the ancient city was transferred to the metropolitan municipality, increased to 2,396.According to the statement, Pamukkale University (PAU) archaeology department head Prof. Celal Simsek said last year they had worked on the site’s Stadium Street, Emperor Traian Foundation, Traian Foundation Square, Atrium Building, Central Propylan, Northern Agora, Southern Portico and Laodicea Church.
A 1,900-year-old water law written on a marble block, as well as the heads of Athena, the goddess of reason, crafts, arts and literature, and Janus, the god of beginnings and transitions, which were unearthed on Stadium Street, were among the most striking findings in 2015, and the restoration and conservation of 19 artifacts was done in the same year.
The statement said the ancient city of Laodicea was Turkey’s largest excavation field, adding, “The ancient city was listed on the permanent list of UNESCO World Heritage in 2013. Last year, the city received the Tripadvisor Excellence Certificate.”
Denizli Mayor Osman Zolan was quoted as saying, “In the past, excavation works continued in the ancient city only two-three months in a year. Since the transfer of the city to the metropolitan municipality, work has been continuing throughout the year. The ancient city is coming to light swiftly.”