Excavations begin in the city of Augustus, the first emperor of Rome

Sebaste Ancient City
photo: flicker.com/sinandogan
After 44 years, excavations started in the ancient city of Uşak Sebaste in Turkey, which was founded by the first emperor of Rome, Augustus, and was a pilgrimage center of Christianity until the 12th century AD.

Sebaste, in the Selçikler town, is among the most important cities founded by the first emperor of Rome, Augustus, in Anatolia. In the ancient city, became the episcopacy center of the surrounding cities over time.

The findings obtained during the excavations carried out by the Istanbul Archaeological Museums in 1966-1978 indicate that the ancient city was a pilgrimage center of Christianity until the 12th century AD. In the ancient city, where scientific archaeological excavations were carried out for the first time in Uşak, there are the remains of two structures called the “Big Church” and the “Small Church”.

Excavations have started in the ancient city of Sebaste under the direction of the Provincial Directorate of Culture and Tourism and the Uşak Archeology Museum. Uşak University Faculty of Arts and Sciences Department of Archeology faculty members Assoc. Dr. Emre Tastemur and Assoc. Dr. Münteha Dinç is the scientific advisor of the excavations.

Provincial Culture and Tourism Director Sabri Ceylan told AA that the ancient city of Sebaste dates back to 7,000 years ago. Sebaste became a religious center during the Byzantine period. The ancient city continued its existence in the Seljuk and Ottoman periods.

Emperor Augustus gave great importance to Sebaste. Ceylan said “The Ancient City of Sebaste has become a pilgrimage center of Christianity over time. This place is important for the archaeological history of our city because the first scientific archaeological excavation in Uşak was carried out here. Excavations continued for about 12 years from 1966 to 1978. In the next period, the excavations stopped for a while. We started the expropriation work here last year. 70% expropriation has been completed.”

He said that they primarily aimed to unearth the area where the Big Church and the Small Church are located. In this process, he stated that they will work in terms of protection, cleaning and environmental safety.

Excavations are of course a long-term process. Ceylan said, “When we complete the excavation, we plan to transform this place into an Ephesus and restore the churches. At the same time, we have the idea to turn this area into an archeopark.” said. We look forward to the finished excavation.

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