Antalya’s underwater archaeology

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Monday, August 12, 2013

Photo: What other treasures will be discovered at Phaselis?

Turkey’s ancient port city of Phaselis in Antalya, some of which is underwater,  is about to play host to a new archaeological survey to further determine the city’s structure and undiscovered perfume factories.

Phaselis was set up by the Rhodians in 700 BC and is an ancient Greek and Roman city on the coast of Lycia. In antiquity, its three bays were used as natural harbours, making the city prosperous as a port for the shipment of timber, rose oil and perfume.

The new survey, which will be coordinated by the Akdeniz University Mediterannean Civilizations Research Institute, will begin on 20 August and will last for a month.

During which time, archaeologists, geographers and geophysicists aim to unearth the city’s perfume factories by carrying out advanced excavations on land and underwater. One of the goals is to find out which types of perfumes were produced with which flowers.

The experts will also undertake a study of the regions mosquitoes and hornets which caused the city to be deserted in the 13th century following continual malaria outbreaks.

Scientists also want to establish a research station at the city which will see teams can work at the site for 12 months of the year.

The city was originally discovered by British scientist Francis Beaufort in the 1800s. Excavations have been carried out since the 1980s which have uncovered the main street, agora and baths.