Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Turkey 11: Hierapolis

One enters Hierapolis from the necropolis through three ancient arches. This is the north entrance, called the Domitian Gate.

In its heyday, in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, Hierapolis claimed 100,000 inhabitants and was a prominent city in the Roman Empire.

Yet another example the structural integrity of a properly constructed stone arch.

Again, the main street of this town is nearly a mile long.  We are walking on the original paving stones.

This hole in the paving stones exposes what was left of an enclosed sewer.

Unlike others we have seen, these columns were all carved from one piece of stone.

The city was destroyed by earthquakes on several occasions and then rebuilt.  I believe these stones were once part of a large pool that was built by the side of the road.

Here, our Turkish guide, Suat, demonstrates how water from the pool filled a huge basin.

It's hard to imagine just how large some of the cities shown here actually were.  We were told that the city covered all the hills visible here.  The standing pillars are the remains of some important structure.  I never found out what it was.

More remains of another temple.

Yet another ruined building.  Excavation of the city began in earnest in 1957 by Italians.  However, many of the statues and friezes were transported to European museums. 

The Roman theater is still largely intact, however.  Speaking of which, notice how the theater seat in the photo below has a hole in it?  We were told that entertainment here often ran long. 

We were also told that having a hole like this drilled onto one's seat made it every easy for wealthy patrons to lift their robes and discreetly answer the call of nature without missing any action.  Those Romans.  They thought of everything.

Continue on to Post 12: Hierapolis Travertines, by clicking here.


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