Alexandria's founded by Alexander

Alexandria's founded by Alexander the Great (by year BC): 334 Alexandria in Troia (Turkey) - 333 Alexandria at Issus/Alexandrette (Iskenderun, Turkey) - 332 Alexandria of Caria/by the Latmos (Alinda, Turkey) - 331 Alexandria Mygdoniae - 331 Alexandria (Egypt) - 330 Alexandria in Areia (Herat, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria of the Prophthasia/in Dragiana/Phrada (Farah, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Arachosia (Kandahar, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Caucasus (Begram, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria of the Paropanisades (Ghazni, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria Eschate or Ultima (Khodjend, Tajikistan) - 329 Alexandria on the Oxus (Ai-Khanoum OR Termez, Afghanistan) - 328 Alexandria in Margiana (Merv, Turkmenistan) - 326 Alexandria Nicaea (on the Hydaspes, India) - 326 Alexandria Bucephala (on the Hydaspes, India) - 325 Alexandria Sogdia - 325 Alexandria Oreitide - 325 Alexandria in Opiene / Alexandria on the Indus (confluence of Indus & Acesines, India) - 325 Alexandria Rambacia (Bela, Pakistan) - 325 Alexandria Xylinepolis (Patala, India) - 325 Alexandria in Carminia (Gulashkird, Iran) - 324 Alexandria-on-the-Tigris/Antiochia-in-Susiana/Charax (Spasinou Charax on the Tigris, Iraq) - ?Alexandria of Carmahle? (Kahnu)

Monday, November 28, 2016

The tempting site of Kibyra

It was only by chance that I noticed the name of Kibyra on a sign-post but since I was running out of time I never visited the site, which I deeply regret.

Kibyra seems to be mentioned for the first time in 189 BC, which is during Roman expansion, but it must have been a rather important city since it had two votes in the Lycian League. After the major earthquake of 23 AD, nobody less than Emperor Tiberius financed the city’s reconstruction and renamed it Caesarea Kibyra. It is not surprising that it thrived under Hadrian but suffered about a century later from the invasion of the Goths after which it was largely deserted.

One of the main buildings is, of course, the theater offering a wide view over the surrounding plain and the mountains further south. With a diameter of 81 meters, it is one of the largest theaters in Anatolia. It is rather well preserved with up to fifty tiers of seats where a two meters wide diazoma could have led to another ten rows. The total seating capacity of this theater is being estimated at 7,400 spectators.

South of the theater, we find the Odeon that has recently revealed a rather unique flooring of eleven meters in diameter, entirely covered with fine mosaics representing Medusa - the sole such example known in the world. This Odeon has been dated to the middle of the third century AD.

Further to the east of the theater, there are several larger buildings, including the agora and the surrounding stoas. The streets are paved with limestone slabs covering the antique sewage system and lined with stubs of columns.

The Stadion is another striking element in the landscape. It is about 198 meters long and 7.5 meters wide with on the hillside 25 tiers of seats that are particularly well preserved, especially at the upper end.

Today, Kibyra is tentatively put on the list of the UNESCO, while excavations are ongoing since 2006. Recently, close to the agora, a round-shaped Nympheion has been exposed. This fountain plays a key role in understanding the city’s water management. With its conical roof, it is one of the most magnificent structures and archaeologists are hopeful to restore this Nympheion to make is working again by 2018. 

The site will open to the public at some time in 2017.

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