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The Archaeological Investigations at Magnesia on the Maeander (Turkey)

A public lecture by Orhan Bingol, Ankara University, Archaeology. Cosponsored with the UCLA Department of Architecture and Urban Design.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012
5:00 PM
De Cafe, Perloff Hall

Magnesia on the Maeander (Magnesia ad Maeandrum) lies near Priene and Ephesus, not far from the coast of Western Turkey.  Famous since the Archaic period for a sanctuary of Artemis, the city was re-established in the fourth century.  Magnesia was dominated by the Macedonian, Seleucid, and Pergamene kingdoms in the Hellenistic Period. In 87 BCE, Magnesia kept the city gates closed against Mithridates, an act which led Sulla to grant the city its freedom. Growing in import under the Romans, it was embellished with a bath-gymnasium complex and odeion, and dubbed the “the seventh city of Asia” by Gordianus. During the Byzantine period a wall was erected around the Artemision.  Traces of a mosque affirm Islamic occupation in the 15th century. Today, Magnesia’s fame draws largely from its association with the architect Hermogenes.  According to the writer and architect Vitruvius, Hermogenes was the first to apply the octagonal pseudodipteros temple plan, initiating the design at the Artemis Leukophryene Temple at Magnesia (3rd.-2nd. Centuries BCE).  The temple was first examined in the 18th century, followed in the 1890s by the excavations of Carl Humann which exposed the temple and altar of Artemis, agora with the temple of Zeus, and the theatre. The objects found in Magnesia are displayed in Paris, Berlin, Istanbul and Izmir Museums.  Approximately 90 years after the investigations of Humann, new excavations started in 1984 under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture and Ankara University, and since 1986 under the direction of Prof. Dr. Orhan Bingöl from the University of Ankara.  Over the last few decades scholars have documented and studied an unfinished theater; a market-basilica with pillar-capitals representing Scylla’s adventure from the Homeric Iliad; cult places in the Artemis-sanctuary together with a latrine; a library; a showy grand propylon; the agora’s east hall; and a well-preserved stadium with starting gate, reliefs and numerous inscriptions.


Sponsor(s): Center for European and Eurasian Studies, Architecture and Urban Design

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