Metropolis in Ionia




The town hill  

The name of the place refers to a mother goddess, Meter Galessia. A cave with a place of worship for the Anatolian goddess of fertility was found nearby. The name of the nearby Turkish city Torbalı is a Turkish transformation of Metropolis.


In the baths  

Finds of fragments of clay, stone axes and obsidian fragments indicate that the place was already inhabited in the early Bronze Age (third millennium BC). Geometric and archaic pottery found on the Acropolis could be dated from 725 to 500 BC.
The archaeologist Recep Meriç concluded that the city was founded around 725 B.C. During this period, the finds were limited to the area of the Acropolis. All finds from the fourth and third century B.C. are missing.


The Theatre  

The Hellenistic theatre from the 3rd century B.C. was built in a natural valley of a mountain slope. The probably wooden stage house was replaced in the 1st century B.C. by the building still recognizable today. The lower level has been preserved, as well as the two unfortunately improperly restored Analemma walls with the help of concrete. The seat stones of the two upper levels were used in the late Byzantine period in the construction of the fortification walls.


Honorary seat in the theatre  

In Hellenistic times, in the third century B.C., the city had its heyday. An increased urban development began, which can be seen in the construction of city walls and fortifications. Construction of the Arestemple on the Acropolis and other monumental buildings, the Stoa, the Bouleuterion and the theatre on the mountain slopes began.

In Roman times, altars with reliefs in honour of Emperor Augustus and his great-nephew Germanicus were erected in the theatre. A bath and a grammar school were built on the northern slope. A national festival called Sebaste Kaisareia was founded.
The 17 A.D. earthquake at least affected the Stoa.


The Bouleuterion (divided in two by the Byzantine fortress wall)  



In Byzantine times, a new fortress was built between the Acropolis and Stoa around the 14th century. Soon after the conquest by the Ottomans in the 15th century the city was abandoned, the inhabitants moved to Torbalı.



Byzantine fortification  



On the nearby Bademgediği Tepe a fortified Late Bronze Age settlement was discovered, possibly identical to Puranda, a town of the Arzawa Empire, which was besieged and starved by the Hittite King Muresili II after Tapalazunauli, the son of the last Arzawa king Uḫḫaziti, entrenched himself there in 1317 BC.
Among other things, the excavations revealed many locally produced Mycenaean pottery from the 14th to 12th century BC, including fragments of a crater (a vessel for mixing wine and water) depicting a naval battle from the early 12th century BC.

Photos: @chim, Monika P.    
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Source: Wikipedia and others