Ancient Pilgrimage Center In Hadrianapolis, Paphlagonia – Discovered

Archaeologists have resumed excavations in Hadrianapolis an ancient city in southwestern Paphlagonia, the land of the Paphlagonians, one of the most ancient nations of Anatolia.

The ancient site, located in modern Turkey), about 3km west of modern Eskipazar, is believed to have been established between the first century BC and the 8th century AD. It was named after the Roman emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD.

During the earlier works, which are now completed, researchers focused on an excavation of the house, mosaic restoration and the covering of a church in the area.According to Vedat Keleş, the head of the excavations and professor at Ondokuz Mayıs University’s Underwater Archaeology Department, “there are lots of structures that need to be discovered in Hadrianapolis.”

Hadrianapolis was a center of pilgrimage in ancient times and many churches and monasteries were built there. Churches and monasteries were built there and it is also the birthplace of Stiylos Alpius (or Alypius the Stylite), a seventh-century ascetic saint, revered as a monastic founder, and a protector of children.

Hadrianapolis was settled in the late Hellenistic, Roman and early Byzantine periods. Archaeological surface surveys have unearthed 14 public buildings and other structures in the ancient city.

Among these public buildings are two baths, two churches, a defense structure, rock tombs, a theater, an arched and domed structure, a monumental cultic niche, walls, a villa, other monumental buildings and some religious buildings.

The church floors are decorated with mosaics and have images of the rivers of Geon, Phison, Tigris and Euphrates imprinted on them, which are mentioned in the Bible.

Various animals are also depicted in the mosaics of the ancient city, which have been likened to the ancient city of Zeugma.

Further excavations will be continued.

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