New structure found in Metropolis excavations

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Excavations in the ancient city of Metropolis in İzmir’s Torbalı district, carried out with the support of the Sabancı Foundation, continue to shed light on the secrets of history.

Headed by Manisa Celal Bayar University Archaeology Professor Serdar Aybek, the works have been carried out with the participation of experts from Turkish and foreign universities. The team discovered an unknown structure this year.

The newly discovered structure provided access to important information about ancient architecture and engineering. Built on an area of approximately 400 square meters, the building bears the traces of a glorious life in Metropolis, the “City of Mother Goddess,” during the last years of the Roman Empire.

The building is well preserved and demonstrates that the craftsmen living in the city had advanced knowledge of architecture and engineering.

Geometric decorated mosaics unearthed under the marble slabs of the large courtyard, where the entrance is, reveal that the building was built on another structure damaged by a devastating earthquake.

In the newly discovered building, unlike the two large bath complexes in Metropolis, a small private bath called the “Balneum” was discovered.

With its small spaces and capacity to serve only one family, the Metropolis Balneum, built sometimes in the fourth to fifth centuries, is presumed to be the property of a wealthy Metropolis resident or a ruler living in Metropolis.

Next to the marble courtyard of the Balneum there is a pool for up to three to four people. From this pool, there is access to the front room with another pool covered with colored marbles. This room provides access to a warm room through a narrow door. This leads to the warmest room of the Balneum, the central bathing section, with two or three bathtubs.

This room is thought to be a sweating room comparable to today’s saunas.

The excavation team identified a unique engineering wonder system that showed that the space was heated from the floor and wall about 1,500 years ago.

“With the findings of the excavations carried out in Metropolis in 2019, we are happy to prove once again how much advanced civilizations lived in Anatolia 1,500 years ago,” Aybek said.
“The advanced heating system we discovered in the Balneum reveals important clues about the life of the city and its people at that time. The private bath structure, which we believe belonged to one of the notables of the city, shows that they had a heating system that we can consider very advanced even today and that an engineering study was carried out to ensure that clean and dirty water passes without contact with each other.”

Hurriyet Daily News

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