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Quarry which built ancient city of Smyrna found

 

A 2000-year-old Turkish stone quarry has been discovered in the Aegean province of Izmir, thanks to some four-year surface research.

The Tirazli-Kesikkaya quarry is said to have existed during the Hellenistic and Roman periods, around 300 to 0 BCE.

According to Associate Doctor Akin Ersoy, who led the research team from the Izmir Katip Celebi University, on the west coast of Turkey, the site was one of numerous quarries which helped to construct the ancient Greek city of Smyrna, located at a strategic point of the Aegean coast.

“In ancient times, stone blocks that were delivered to the port were stored in a suitable area and then carried to the construction site by oxen,” Ersoy told the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality website.

“For example, these blocks would be delivered to Smyrna Agora and after their neat work was done, they would be used in the designated place for the building construction.”

Assessing the quality and cost of quarrying, transporting and building with such materials, Ersoy said the stone would have been used to build the more high-end buildings of the area.

“The ceramics, blocks, and columns show that especially in the Roman period, this quarry was used more actively to meet the needs of the magnificent monumental structures that increased in number in parallel to the enrichment of Smyrna,” Ersoy said.

Researchers agree that the newly found site was certainly an important one for its period.

“Definitely there were other quarries, however it is understood that many limestone columns found in the Smyrna Agora came from this quarry,” Ersoy said.