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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

DENIZLI - A villa, dating back to late-Roman era, has been unearthed in the ancient city of Laodiceia, located near Eskihisar village of Aegean city of Denizli, announced Associate Professor Celal Simsek, heading the excavations in this ancient city.

Also the head of the Archeology Department of Pamukkale University, Simsek indicated that the villa was unearthed near a railway on the southern part of the ancient city.

Simsek noted that illegal excavations were carried out in the region some time ago, and they could see some mosaics from a hole.

"Therefore, we launched excavations in this region although it is not a part of our program. And we discovered a villa there," he stated.

According to Simsek, there are mosaics in the courtyard of the villa.

Predicting that the villa, situated in the Lycus Valley, might have belonged to a rich farmer, Simsek said that glass pieces were also found in the villa. "This means that a part of this building might have been used as a glassware workshop," he added.

Laodicea is situated in a location on the south of the Lycus River, 6 km north of Denizli. The city was called "Laodikeia on the side of the Lycus" in ancient sources. According to other sources, the city was founded by Antiochos II in 263-261 B.C. and named after Antiochos` wife.

Laodicea was the most famous and important city in the 1st century B.C. The remains of the city are dated from this era. Coins were minted in Laodicea during the reign of Caracalla. Many monumental buildings were also constructed in this ancient city through donations of the local inhabitants. One of the famous seven churches mentioned in Revelation was located in Laodicea, which shows that Christianity was widespread here. Unfortunately the city was completely destroyed by an earthquake.

Big theater, small theater, stadium and gymnasium, monumental Nypheum, Council building, Zeus Temple, and the big church are among the ruins in Laodicea.

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