Izmir, Turkey - The Agora
Aerial View, Courtesy Ms. Funda Yaka

News

Open Air Museum

It appears the Agora site has been designated as an “open air museum.” The address given for the site is as follows: 816 Sok. No:16, Konak/Izmir, Turkey. A phone number given for the site is: +90 232 483 4696. With little effort one can find a ticket booth with an attendant. In 2012 the cost was 5 Turkish Lira to enter the site…which back in 1961-62 was free! The Agora was simply a site slowly undergoing exploration with not much (if any) government support or visible signs of new excavations, with a good portion of the Agora (the statues, etc.) exposed to the elements. One could roam around the site at will. Now there are archaeologists attending the dig, along with their corrugated roofing shelters and efforts to continue unearthing new objects, which prohibits access to some areas of the Agora.

More artifacts found in the

Excavations in Agora

According to an article published in the online version of the Turkish news “Hurriyet” there have been lengthy efforts by the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, taking site development under their protection, to expropriate private homes surrounding the Agora site with their subsequent follow-on demolition making way for an outdoor park area including the Agora. The follow-on excavations continue revealing new findings on a site where political, financial, and religious activities once took place hundreds/thousands of years ago! There are scriptures written in Greek to be found as well as drawings pertaining to the Roman and Hellenistic times, all of which provide clues about

daily life. There are beautiful sections of mosaic work

found at the site that have defied the ravishes of time!

Graffiti in the area shows shipping drawings and human

faces, which give important clues about the maritime

transport, ship  typology and daily life at the time.

Moreover, the water and meal containers, cups and

plates found in recent excavations show that Agora was

an area hosting many small enterprises. The antique

drainage system reveals that Agora did not have a

wastewater problem and that the water cisterns met

the city’s needs for clean water.

Conducting many projects to reveal its history, Izmir

is preparing to develop the Agora and the surrounding

area as a "Archeology and History Park" while the

Dokuz Eylül University also undertakes some excavation

work of great importance for Izmir.

Izmir’s Commitment

Planning to frame the Agora area as an ’Archeology and History Park’, Izmir Metropolitan Municipality has paid more than 20 million Turkish lira for the land in the area so far. The municipality also allocated 2 million lira last year for the excavation work at Smyrna and Phokai. After completing the land transfers, the municipality fences off the sensitive areas and hands them over to excavation teams. Depending on the needs of the team, the municipality also provides equipment, meals and excavation assistance. So far, 16,852 square meters of old, broken buildings have been expropriated at an approximate cost of 20 million Turkish lira. Forty-nine of 87 parcels have been taken over and 50 buildings have been demolished. The legal process continues in relation to other areas.

External web links

I discovered a few excellent on-line external links while researching the current status of Izmir’s Agora, with more current photos and stories, as well as links to other interesting sites in Turkey: http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/more-artifacts-found-in-the-excavations-in- agora-10747455 http://www.turkeysforlife.com/2013/03/izmir-ancient-agora.html https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smyrna http://www.allaboutturkey.com/izm_site.htm http://www.ephesus.us/ephesus/stateagora.htm
Izmir, Turkey - The Agora
© www.hlswilliwaw.com

News

Open Air Museum

It appears the Agora site has been designated as an “open air museum.” The address given for the site is as follows: 816 Sok. No:16, Konak/Izmir, Turkey. A phone number given for the site is: +90 232 483 4696. With little effort one can find a ticket booth with an attendant. In 2012 the cost was 5 Turkish Lira to enter the site…which back in 1961-62 was free! The Agora was simply a site slowly undergoing exploration with not much (if any) government support or visible signs of new excavations, with a good portion of the Agora (the statues, etc.) exposed to the elements. One could roam around the site at will. Now there are archaeologists attending the dig, along with their corrugated roofing shelters and efforts to continue unearthing new objects, which prohibits access to some areas of the Agora.

More artifacts found in the

Excavations in Agora

According to an article published in the online version of the Turkish news “Hurriyet” there have been lengthy efforts by the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, taking site development under their protection, to expropriate private homes surrounding the Agora site with their subsequent follow-on demolition making way for an outdoor park area including the Agora. The follow-on excavations continue revealing new findings on a site where political, financial, and religious activities once took place hundreds/thousands of years ago! There are scriptures written in Greek to be found as well as drawings pertaining to the Roman and Hellenistic times, all of which provide clues about

External web links

I discovered a few excellent online external links while researching the current status of Izmir’s Agora, with more current photos and stories, as well as links to other interesting sites in Turkey: http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/more-artifacts-found-in-the-excavations-in-agora-10747455 http://www.turkeysforlife.com/2013/03/izmir-ancient-agora.html https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smyrna http://www.allaboutturkey.com/izm_site.htm http://www.ephesus.us/ephesus/stateagora.htm