Most Important Archaeological Sites in Turkey


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Turkey is one fascinating place full of history and archaeological sites that are so unique and beautiful, that it’s almost difficult to fathom that they’re real. Here, we’ll dig deep into some of the most fascinating and breathtaking historical sites from all around the country so that we can expose you to the Most Important Archaeological Sites in Turkey!

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4. Perge
This ancient city is also known as Perga, and it was once a grand city that served as the capital of Pamphylia Secunda, which is located on what is now the southwestern Mediterranean coast of Turkey near the city of Antalya. There’s an acropolis here that dates back to the Bronze Age, and there are many large ruins located in the area that visitors can see today. The city changed hands numerous times throughout the years, but the Romans, who took control of the city in 188 B.C., built most of the structures still seen today. These include ruins of a necropolis, a gymnasium, a public square, Roman baths, churches, temples, and even a theatre which could once hold around 15,000 people. There have also been many incredible sculptures discovered here, and beginning in 2003, many priceless mosaics were located around the city. The discoveries of the mosaics have led to the city being coined “Turkey’s second Zeugma,” with Zeugma being another famous site in Turkey where incredible mosaics have been found.

3. Hattusa
Hattusa was once the great capital city of the Hittite Empire, which can be found near what is Bogazkale, Turkey today. The city is one of the greatest and most important ruins of Turkey; thus, it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1986. The site was first settled around the sixth millennium B.C., and it became a trading post for some time. That is until the area was claimed by a Hittite-speaking king, who decided that it would make the perfect location for his home, and capital for the empire. The king changed the city’s name from Hattush to Hattusa, and he, himself, adopted the name Hattusili. At the height of the city, it covered nearly 0.7 square miles, and great walls surrounded it. There was an inner city and an outer city, both of which served different purposes, and many different types of structures and historical features can be seen in each today. The Hittite state and the city were destroyed around the same time as the Bronze Age collapsed—around 1200 B.C. The city was discovered in 1834 by Charles Texier, a French archaeologist, and one of the most important discoveries made there, the Bogazkoy Archive, shed much information on the lifestyle, laws, and thinking of the times.

2. Ephesus
This ancient Greek city was built on what was once the capital of Arzawa, a political entity, and a region located just 1.8 miles from what is now Selcuk in Turkey’s Izmir Province today. Ionian and Attic Greek colonists built the city during the 10th century B.C., and at one point was part of the Ionian League. Once the Roman Republic took control of Ephesus in 129 B.C., the city really flourished, and it gained a decent amount of fame from being so close to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Temple of Artemis. Ephesus could have been where the Gospel of John was written, as it was one of the seven churches of Asia named in the Book of Revelation. It very recently became a UNESCO World Heritage Site—in 2015—and it’s the most complete Greco-Roman classical city on the planet as of now. Some of the main sites at Ephesus are the Temple of Artemis, the Library of Celsus, a theater with a seating capacity of 25,000, two agoras, a few bathhouses, and several temples.

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