Trip Start Mar 26, 2011
Trip End Apr 14, 2011

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Flag of Turkey  , Denizli,
Monday, April 4, 2011

We left Antalya today heading for Pamukkale. On the way we stopped to see the ruins at Aphrodisias which was named after Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. The ruins cover a huge area and less than five percent of the area has been excavated.

This area of Turkey has been controlled first by the Greeks and then the Romans from about 300 BCE until 400 CE. The city was built in the second century CE near a marble quarry. Marble sculptors from Aphrodisias became famous in the Roman world and sculpture from Aphrodisias has been found as far away as Portugal.

Settlements had formed at this location for thousands of years. However, due to earthquakes this site was probably abandoned in the seventh century CE. Over the years the ruins became buried under rubble and were no longer visible. In the last few hundred years a small village developed on the site and it was not until the 1950s that the ruins were discovered. At that the time the village was moved a few miles away and excavation has been going on ever since.

The Temple of Aphrodite was a focal point of the town. A stadium, amphitheatre, small theatre, baths, market place, and a main entrance street have been unearthed so far.

Many of the statues that have been recovered are housed in a museum on the grounds while the larger pieces are reconstructed in place as much as possible.

A very impressive site!
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