RESEARCHES

                     HISTORY OF RESEARCH AND EXCAVATIONS

1775                R. Chandler writes about the history and borders of the city, well-preserved stadium, odeon, and bath-gymnasia and draws attention to the frequent and devastating earthquakes. He mentions the works of sculpture he saw and comments on them as reflecting Greek art and adds the name Zeno inscribed on a seat at the entrance to a building.

1776                    V. J. Arundell gives general information about the city and tells about the churches in the city.

                            J. A. Cramer compiled the notes from the ancient sources and travellers and wrote about the geography of the city and the region.

1833-43               G. Weber visited Anatolia twice, first in 1833 and then in 1843. He conducted first short excavation at the city, studied the water supply system and drew the first map of the city.

1838                    L. De Laborde mentions the monuments of the ancient city and drew the engravings of the theatre and aqueducts.

1840                    Sir Ch. Fellows visited the city on 8 May 1839 and gives general information about the city and his observations on the two theatres.

1842                    W. J. Hamilton stopped at Laodikeia during his trips across Anatolia; he mentions the condition of the city after the earthquake and monuments still standing like stadium, gymnasium, theatre and aqueducts.

                            W. Cochron states that Arundell visited the city in 1826 and Hamilton in 1842; he gives information on the cities of the region. He also writes that Laodikeia and the cities of the region, toppled down many times by earthquakes, were leading in textile trade, and that Laodikeia was one of the Seven Churches.

1849                    Ch. Texier states that Laodikeia was the capital of Phrygia. He also writes about the well-preserved stadium and its inscription, and gives general information on the gymnasium and two theatres as well as numerous architectural elements belonging to multiple monuments commenting that they belonged to the second-third centuries AD. He mentions the well-preserved aqueducts and the dripstones from the highly calcareous water, extensive repairs on the buildings, many marble blocks removed by the locals, and that the city served as a quarry for a long time.

1872                    E. J. Davis cites Strabo and tells about the stadium, gymnasium, small and big theatres, odeon, basilicas, bridge, works of sculpture scattered around the city, and the destruction caused by its proximity to modern settlements.

1883-86               W. M. Ramsay gives detailed information on the city in light of ancient sources, inscriptions and coins. He repeats the map by Weber and states that River Asopos of Weber was actually Kapros.

1895                    F. Sarre mentions the foundation of the city and that it was one of the seven bishoprics in Asia, and that it was captured by the Seljuqs in 1097. He also adds that the public structures were endowed by wealthy citizens as in other wealthy cities of Asia Minor and that he saw many inscriptions and statue bases unknown other than the two theatres and the stadium.

1918                    W. A. Hawley stopped at Laodikeia twice during his visit to the region; he gives general information on the people living in the region and states that public structures such as theatre and gymnasium were still standing despite frequent and severe earthquakes.

1939                    W. H. Buckler and W. M. Calder compiled the documents on Phrygia and Caria and published the epigraphic finds from the city.

1961-63               Archaeologist Prof. Dr. J. Des Gagniers of Quebec University in Canada conducted excavations at the Caracalla Nymphaeum and published the results in the volume titled Laodicée du Lycos. Le Nymphée (Paris 1969).

1992                    Denizli Museum Directorate conducted short-term excavations in the main colonnaded street (Syria Street).

1995-2002           A team led by Prof. Dr. G. Traversari of Ca’Foscari-Venezia University carried out surveys preparing the topographic map and marking the structures. The results were published in the volume titled Laodiceia di Frigia II (Padova 2004).

2002                    For the first time systematic excavations were initiated under the direction of Denizli Museum Directorate and participation of Pamukkale University’s Department of Archaeology.

2003                    Prof. Dr. Celal Şimşek started comprehensive excavations and restoration work and prepared a new topographic map of the city. Currently work is underway at various monuments and necropolis.

                            Excavations and restoration work are supported by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism (General Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Museums and DÖSİMM), Denizli Governorate, Denizli Metropolitan Municipality, Pamukkale University, TÜRSAB, businessmen of Denizli, and friends of Laodikeia.

2008                    Protocol signed between the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Metropolitan Municipality of Denizli on 18 August 2008 transferred most of the financial load on the Municipality, and thus the work continues all year round.


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