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Trip List by viviandarkbloom

Best Archaeology Sites in Turkey

3 Apr 2006  armchair archaeologist
4.5 of 5 bubbles based on 8 votes

When one thinks of ancient ruins, one's mind immediately immediately leaps to Italy or Greece, and Turkey is often overlooked. But this area has, since ancient times, been an important crossroads of cultures: Middle Eastern, Greek, and Roman. For the history buff truly interested in archaeology, it's hard to narrow down the list, for there are as many archaelogy sites in Turkey as there are Starbucks in Manhattan, so both well-known and hopefull not-so-well known locations are included.

  • Explore locations featured in this Trip List: Selcuk, Denizli, Geyre, Bergama, Gullubahce
  • Category: Best of
  • Appeals to: Business travellers , Couples/romantics, Honeymooners, Singles, Families with teenagers, Large groups, Students, Budget travellers , Active/adventure, Tourists
  • Seasons: Winter, Spring, Fall
  • 1. Antioch (Antakya)

    Antioch (Antakya) was one of the largest cities in the ancient world, and a seat of provincial Roman government. The 1930s saw an excavation of beautiful mosaics in the area, but there is still much to be seen here.

  • 2. Troy (Hislarik)

    The Grandaddy of all archaeological sites. Ever since Heinrich Schliemann went in search of ancient Troy in 1870, the site has been a source of inspiration and is still being excavated today.

  • 3. Ephesus
    Selcuk, Izmir Province

    A grand site for exploring ancient Greek ruins. Remarkably reconstructed, Ephesus was also home to the earliest Christian communities, thanks to St. Paul.

  • 4. Gordion

    Are you familiar with the phrase "Gordion knot"? Look no further for an explanation. This site is near the modern town of Ankara (which is also close to Mount Ararat, Ephesus, and other ancient sites) and is famous for what is erroneously known as the Tumulus (burial tomb) of King Midas--in fact it is Gordios, king of ancient Phyrgia, who is buried here.

  • 5. Hierapolis
    Hierapolis & Pamukkale, Denizli

    Fabulous Greek ruins and ancient baths located here--and some cool-looking petrified waterfalls give this location an ethereal quality.

  • 6. Aphrodisias
    Aphrodisias, Geyre

    As you might be able to judge by its name, Aphrodisias is best known for its wonderful temple to Aphrodite--and, in ancient times, its abundance of brothels.

  • 7. Hattusa

    This site marks the capital of what once was the Hittite Empire.

  • 8. Pergamon
    Pergamon Theatre, Bergama, Izmir Province

    The theatre at Pergamon is one of the most iconographical images of ancient Greece--a classic study of an open air ampitheatre.

  • 9. Priene
    Priene, Gullubahce

    The grid layout of the ancient town of Priene was modeled after that of Athens. Priene is famous for its Temple of Athena.

  • 10. Sardis

    There is plenty to see here. This ancient Lydian city contains an impressive Temple of Artemis, a necropolis, and an impressive gymnasium and palaestra.