A Turkish excavation team has been carrying out works to unearth a temple of Zeus in the ancient city of Euromos. The ancient city is located at a short distance from the Turkish Riviera city of Bodrum.
Temple of Zeus in Euromos Ancient City is only the Beginning
Abuzer Kızıl, an archaeologist at Mugla Sıtkı Kocman University in southwestern Turkey near the Aegean, made a statement on excavation works. In his speaking to the state-run Anadolu Agency, he said they brought artifacts to the surface in excavations they started in 2011. But what’s more, they have been aiming to bring more historical remains to light ever since.
Good Fortune of Euromos
He added that they have been carrying out cleaning, drilling, mapping, and excavation in the ancient city’s temple, agora, theater, bath, and city walls in recent years. Furthermore, he also added that Euromos’ location made it “among the luckiest ancient cities of Anatolia.”
He said that Euromos is one of the most important and valuable cities of Caria. He also added that ancient people were planning important projects for the temple and the city, as well.
Historical Overview of Euromos
The city takes place in the region that we know as Caria. But back in time, ancient people knew the city from the 5th century BC as Cyramos (Hyramos). During the reign of King Mausolus of Halicarnassus (the 4th century BC), Milas subordinated the city. And thus, it lost its independence. At the same time, its name turned into Euromos (meaning ‘Strong‘), which resulted from the program of Caria Hellenization that Mausolus implemented.
In Roman times, Roman rulers granted Euromos the status of an autonomous city. However, soon afterward, the city was completely abandoned. The most probable reason was the Antonine Plague that broke out in the western part of Asia Minor in 166 AD. The scholars suspect it to have been either smallpox or measles. In subsequent years, an epidemic spread throughout the entire territory of the Roman Empire, and within 20 years decimated its population.
From the Greek God Zeus to the Present
Abuzer Kızıl, the head of the excavation team, said the local temple of the ancient Greek god Zeus was one of the best-preserved temples in all of Turkey’s Anatolia. Kızıl said that initially, they conducted partial excavation and cleaning works in the temple. What they also did is that they documented the same area. He noted that they have prepared a project to carry out the restoration seriously.
Importance of Funding to Make the Area a Cultural Attraction Center
So, he also pointed out how finding funding are essential to make the area a cultural attraction center. Moreover, it is also vital for excavation works to proceed. To address one of their biggest problems, he said they need to revamp and strengthen a slope at the north facade of the temple. Thus, the temple and the surrounding will be more resistant against a potential earthquake.
Importance of the Temple for National Tourism and Regional Development
“The Temple of Zeus will take its rightful place,” he said. “It will be one of the best, most interesting and most-popular temples in Anatolia.” He underlined that they want to preserve the materials they unearthed during years of work. He noted that the site has great importance for promoting the region and tourism in Turkey.
Tips for Those Wish to Visit Euromos
A ticket to Euromos costs 20TL ($2.5/€2). The official opening hours are 8:30 am to 7:00 pm (from May to September) or to 5:00 pm (from October to April).
In Euromos, there is no tourist infrastructure. So, remember to bring your water supply, as wandering around the area is an exhausting activity. It is indeed, especially in summer.
No one fence off Euromos ruins. Postures border them for sheep and goats. So, you had better be careful where you step. Except for the Temple of Zeus, all the buildings are heavily overgrown. What’s more, they also well hidden among olive trees growing on the hill. There are inconspicuous signposts near the Temple of Zeus. It indicates the directions to the theater, the city walls, and the necropolis.
How to Get to Euromos?
By public transport: Buses and minibuses that travel along the Söke-Milas road can stop at the Euromos crossing on demand. The remaining distance is just 200 meters to walk.