Archaeological excavations in the ancient city of Antiocheia Ad Cragum in the southern province of Antalya’s Gazipaşa district have unearthed ceramic pottery pieces with the seal “ANT.”
Located in the Güney neighborhood, the ancient city dates 2,000 years back to the Roman and Byzantine eras. Excavations have been carried out in the city under the leadership of Professor Michael Hoff from Nebraska University.
Hoff said works have been carried out since 2005 with an international team, adding that they focused on the temple structure in the first season and works there have almost been finished.
He said they are now working on the restoration projects, adding, “We also unearthed the parliament building in the city. It will be completely excavated this year. Since it is a pretty big complex, works have been ongoing there for a few years and it will last a few more years. The ancient city is pretty big; it covers an area of some 30 hectares. This is why I guess excavations here will last more than 300 years with current technology. But we can see exciting discoveries every year.”
Cities have their own ceramic brands
Birol Can, the deputy head of the excavations and Uşak University Archaeology Department academic, said, “The region is too rich and fantastic in terms of geography and cultural value.”
“It is very close to the sea but positioned on bluffs. Very important discoveries have been made since 2005 under the leadership of Hoff. Since it is one of the rare excavations in the region, findings are very important. We have found too large and high-quality mosaics in the past. We share it with the academic circles and tourists as well,” he added.
Can said this year they concentrated on the big bath structure in the city, adding, “Along with the architectural findings related to the original structure of the bath, we are also working on ceramic kilns. They are very important to us because the cities that produced their own ceramics in the Mediterranean have created their own brand. The kilns, which are in very good condition, as well as the ceramic wastes and the seals on them, verify this fact. Generally, each city has its own seal. Here, a seal with the letters A, N and T was used. Of course, this is not the only city that used this seal because there are other cities with the name Antiocheia. But ceramic kilns and other findings that prove the production show us that this is the seal of this city.”
The district’s governor, Nurullah Kaya, who visited the excavation team, said they provided them an excavation house for the team. “We identified a location for a museum to display the findings. We will not have any technical problem and focus on field work in 2018,” he added.