Cyzicus was conquered by Alexander and he is said to be responsible for connecting the island to the mainland. One of the main buildings for which the city is known is the huge amphitheater with a diameter of 150 meters built by the Romans in the third century BC. It was intersected by a stream, making it particularly fit for naval battles – the only one of its kind in Turkey that has survived until 1444 when thirty-one of its immense columns were still in place.
Recent excavations are centered around the huge temple built by Hadrian, which is 161 meters long! It ranges among the largest temples in Anatolia, but repeated earthquakes have damaged the building considerably. At present, archaeologists try to determine the full measurements of the temple and the remains of its superstructure. Over the centuries, unfortunately, the marble of the temple has been fueling many lime kilns and during the Middle-Ages the area was used as a cemetery.
So far, however, many of the temple’s construction elements have been recovered, like marble roof tiles of 105x85 cm, marble gutters with lion heads, columns of 2.25 meters high, the head of an unspecified king, a large Roman capital measuring 1.9 meters in diameter, 2.5 meters high and weighing some 20 tons, and more. Nearby a tomb with inscriptions has been uncovered containing the remains of 10 people among their grave gifts, as well as two lime kilns.
This all sounds very promising and I am looking forward to the results of the latest excavations!