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Magnificent Ancient Site of Aphrodisias in UNESCO World Heritage List

The Aphrodisias archaeology site in southwestern Turkey has been included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

Aphrodisias, named after Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love was a small ancient Greek city in the historic Caria cultural region of western Anatolia, Turkey.

The Temple of Aphrodite was a focal point of the town, but the character of the building was altered when it became a Christian basilica. The Aphrodisian sculptors became renowned and benefited from a plentiful supply of marble close at hand.

At the ancient site there is a beautiful amphitheater that must have been the setting for great performances of culture and arts.

There is also an ancient stadium described as “the largest ancient stadium in the world and one of the best preserved.”

It is 270 meters long. There would have been times when thirty thousand people would have filled those spots, shouting and cheering at the sports taking place below.

Sarcophagi were recovered in various locations, most frequently decorated with designs consisting of garland and columns. Pilasters have been found showing what are described as “peopled scrolls” with figures of people, birds and animals entwined in acanthus leaves.

The decision was made during the UNESCO World Heritage Committee session in Krakow, Poland.

According to the official statement» Aphrodisias […] is one of the most important archaeological sites of Turkey […] with well-preserved sculptures, monuments, inscriptions, structures and marble quarries.”

The number of inscribed properties of Turkey on the UNESCO World Heritage List has now reached 17.

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