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Huge discoveries in recent excavations in ancient Pisidian city Antioch

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« on: September 15, 2011, 11:30:36 pm »

Huge discoveries in recent excavations in ancient Pisidian city Antioch
13 September 2011, Tuesday / TODAY'S ZAMAN, İSTANBUL

The ruins of a Byzantine mansion belonging to a pontiff and a Roman villa have been unearthed in a recent excavation being carried out in the ancient Pisidian city of Antioch in Yalvaç, Isparta.

Archaeologists underline that the wall paintings discovered in both structures were of high quality, only comparable to the quality of the paintings found in Rome and Pompeii. The excavation is being conducted by Süleyman Demirel University's Department of Archeology in Pisidian Antioch, an ancient city in Yalvaç, and is almost complete. Assistant Professor Mehmet Özhanlı from the university's Department of Archeology, who is supervising the dig, said in a statement to the Anatolian news agency that they had discovered the mansion of a Byzantine pontiff and a villa from the Roman period in a hill known as Vicus Aedilicus.

Stressing that they believe the structure discovered was a pontiff's mansion as there was a church in the complex, Özhanlı also said that based on their findings Pisidian Antioch, a metropolitan Byzantine city that dates back to the Hellenistic period, excelled in frescos and mosaics. Noting that they also concluded that the marble covers on the floor were removed and then melted in lime furnaces, Özhanlı said, “Despite this deformation, the wall paintings were of high quality, comparable to the Pompeii style.”

The professor further underlined that the villa from the Roman era they discovered was an important breakthrough that contributed to improved documentation of that period of the city. Özhanlı further said: “The paintings on the walls of the Roman villa were of immense quality; in that sense, they are no different form the wall paintings in Rome or Pompeii. Many colors, including blue, orange, red and yellow, were used in the wall paintings. This tells us that Pisidian Antioch excelled in wall paintings.”

Assistant Professor Özhanlı further noted that the excavations revealed that only a small part of the ceramics used in the construction of the Roman villa were imported. He added that the excavation will end on Sept. 15 of this year.
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