Historic stadium found in Aydın’s ancient city of Magnesia

27th, 2013
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antik-40-bin-kisilik-stadyumA well-preserved historic stadium has been found during excavations being carried out in the ancient city of Magnesia, located in the Ortaklar district of Germencik in the Aegean province of Aydın.
Archeological excavations have been ongoing for 28 years in the ancient city, where the stadium has been unearthed by archaeologists. The excavations are being carried out under the leadership of the head of the Ankara University archaeology department, Professor Orhan Bingöl.
According to a report in the Radikal daily, findings in the unearthed stadium suggest that people living in the ancient city of Magnesia were very civilized.
Bingöl, speaking to Radikal, said that a 36-meter-high part of the “sphendone,” or semicircular, component of the stadium had been located 70 meters underground. The capacity of the stadium is estimated by the archaeologists to have been between 30,000 and 40,000.
Complaining that the excavation had come to a halt due to financial limitations, Bingöl called on sporting clubs to support the excavations financially, noting that the structure of the stadium is very similar to that of modern-day stadiums.
The excavation team hopes that findings recovered from the stadium will provide important information in relation to the history of sporting activities in ancient Anatolia.
Bingöl further added that it is suspected older structures may be located in the vicinity of the stadium. “Just as we have sections devoted to visiting teams in current stadiums, there were also the same sections in the stadium. It is very hard to continue the excavations with the financial allowance provided by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey [TÜBİTAK] and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, so the sports clubs should also consider providing financial support for the excavation to some degree,” Bingöl stated.
The assistant head of the excavations, Dr. Görkem Kökdemir, said that a lavatory had also been unearthed with a 32-person capacity. Kökdemir explained that the facility would have operated with a similar system to today’s bathrooms. Considering this fact, as well as motifs seen on the walls of the unearthed structures, the people of Magnesia are thought to have been highly developed.

Resource: Today’s Zaman

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