Ancient Turkish site set to be flooded





The Allianoi archaeological site could soon be under water if authorities carry out their plans to flood a newly constructed reservoir. Located in western Turkey, the site is a well-preserved example of an ancient Roman health spa.

Archaeologist Ahmet Yaras, head of the Allianoi excavation team, is spearheading a campaign to save the site from being submerged. They are trying to rally international support to pressure the authorities to move the reservoir — or at least delay the flooding for another five years so that they can finish the excavations.

Allianoi is a hot-springs area 18 kilometres northeast of the ruins of ancient Pergamon that was used as a spa in Hellenistic times. It was constructed during major public works done under the reign of the Roman emperor Hadrian during the second century AD. In addition to the spa, the Allianoi site includes public squares, streets, gates, bridges, fountains and buildings. Together, they encompass about 50,000 square metres, and they could all end up in the middle of the reservoir.


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