Smyrna Agora

Konak / İzmir

Smyrna Agora

Smyrna Agora was the administrative, political, judicial, and commercial centre of the ancient city.

Agora occupied an oblong space at the centre of the ancient city, in accordance with grid city plan in this area. This Agora was established in 4th century B.C.E., but most of the remains we find today are from Roman period Agora, rebuilt with support from Emperor Marcus Aurelius after the earthquake in 178C.E.

Agora achieved the form we see today in 2nd century C.E., and attained general characteristics until 7th century. Today we can only see a 129x83 metre part of the yard section. Most of the West Portico, and entire Basilica surrounding this area have been revealed. Two public buildings, City Council adjacent to West Portico and Mosaic Building, and a Roman bathhouse west of these buildings have been identified.

Agora yard included statues, monuments, numerous shrines used in ceremonies for various gods, and Exedras with marble seats.

After 7th century C.E., Agora became obsolete in line with the city growing smaller in size. Over time, during mid and late Byzantine period, yard section has become a cemetery. During the Period of Principalities, this part has become an abandoned area between Christians settled around Harbour Castle, and Turks living in Kadifekale.

After Turks have conquered the city completely in early 15th century, cemetery at Agora yard tradition was taken over by Turks and carried on until late 19th century. In Ottoman period, Agora and surrounding area was used as open air prayer place.

First archaeological excavation in Smyrna was conducted between 1933 and 1941. Ongoing excavation project in Smyrna Agora, Altinpark, and Kadifekale was started in 2007.


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