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Ancient City of Magnesia Ad Meandrum Magnesia
Magnesia ad Meandrum is located on the Ortaklar - Söke Highway, within the borders of Tekin village in Ortaklar quarter of the Germencik District of Aydın. According to the ancient resources and the myths, the city was established by a tribe which came from Thessalia and were called the Magnets. Nobody knows the exact location of first Magnesia, which was founded by Magnets who landed at today's Bafa Lake that was a small bay under the leadership of Leukippos and divination of Apollo; but it was estimated that it was located at the edge of the Menderes River.
The Magnets re-built a city near Gümüşçay in B.C. 400 because of the epidemics which arouse out of overflow of Menderes and because they had to defend themselves by building a more secure city against The Persians. Magnesia, which was dominated by Seleukos first and the Bergama Kingdom subsequently in the Hellenistic Period, maintained its importance in the Rome Period and had been the Episcopal centre during the Byzantine Period. Magnesia was a city surrounded by ramparts that covered a 1, 5 km diametre area, having a grating planned street and a road system and had been a commercially and strategically important location among triangle of Priene, Ephesos and Tralleis. The Magnesia Ancient City had not been subject to much destruction. The overflow of the river and the silt layer brought by rainwater from Gümüş Mountain had a great effect for this situation. The first digs in Magnesia were carried out by Carl Humann on behalf of the Berlin Museum in 1891. A Theatre, Artemis tempest and altar, an agora, Zeus tempest and prytaneion were found partially or completely during these digs which lasted 21 months.
The works found in Magnesia are being exhibited in Paris, Berlin and İstanbul museums. The digs were completed in 1893, and 100 years later, the digging activities re-started in Magnesia, which was about to disappear, in 1984 on behalf of the Ministry of Culture and the Ankara University. The fame of Magnesia results from Hermogenes, the architect of ancient times.
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