When I wrote my blog about Termessos (see: Alexander avoided the siege of Termessos) a few years ago, I repeatedly mentioned how little of the city had been cleared and excavated – be it to my greatest pleasure.
Understandably, there comes a time when some restorations and/or reconstructions are in order and the first choice fell on Termessos' 2,300 year-old city walls. It is a rather clear-cut project since almost
3,000 stone blocks are readily available. They have
all been scanned and numbered in order to reconstruct one third of the original
one thousand meter-long wall. Modern cranes are now handling the blocks
weighing as much as two and a half tons. It makes you wonder how the ancient
Greeks managed to move and put these heavy stones into place. The restoration
also includes four towers inside the wall. When this stretch of the wall is
completed, it will stand to a height of six meters.
More excavation work has been initiated at Termessos and part of the ancient road leading from the ancient city to Attaleia (modern
) has been exposed (partially still
hidden, however, underneath the modern asphalt road). It is nothing more than a
natural route connecting inland Pisidia to the sea that was used since
prehistoric times. The most exciting part of this discovery is the fact that
this may well be the road Alexander
used when he besieged Termessos
in 333 BC. Antalya
As mentioned in my earlier blog, there are many skeleton remains of Hellenistic and Roman buildings like the temples of Zeus and Artemis, and the so-called Corinthian temple, the Heroon for an unknown hero, the Agora with its underground cisterns, the Roman Bouleuterion, the initially Greek theater that was later remodeled to meet Roman needs, the Roman Baths and Gymnasium, several fountains or Nympheions, and most striking of all, the impressive Tomb of Alcetas.
It is clear that Termessos has a lot to tell since it was only abandoned in the 5th century AD after nearly one thousand years of existence.