Cerenorm

27 May 19:37

Allianoi

TR > ─░zmir Province > Bergama

Allianoi is an ancient spa settlement, with remains dating predominantly from the Roman Empire period (2nd century AD) located near the city of Bergama (ancient Pergamon) in Turkey's İzmir Province. The site is at a distance of 18 kilometers to the northeast of Bergama, on the road to the neighboring town of İvrindi. Allianoi is directly inside the reservoir of the Yortanlı Dam,

built by the Turkish State Hydraulic Works. After ongoing discussion in

Turkey with regards to preserving Allianoi's ruins, the site was

covered with sand and the dam was activated, resulting in Allianoi's

complete inundation and destruction in February 2011.

One particularity of Allianoi is it being a very recent

historical discovery. It was mentioned only once in the 2nd century by

the orator and medicinal writer Aelius Aristides in his "Hieroi Logoi" (Sacred Tales)

(III.1), one of the key sources for the knowledge on the science of

healing as it was understood at that time. No other writer of antiquity

nor any epigraphic finding known had referred to Allianoi.

Prehistoric times

During the excavations conducted in the forest to the west of Allianoi, a vessel of the type known as Yortan (dating from the Early Bronze Age II) was found. On the hills of Çakmaktepe (Flint Hill) nearby, a high quantity of flintstones

were found during surveys. Additionally, two stone axes were unearthed

from an earth fill. These findings suggest some form of prehistoric

settlement at or near Allianoi.

Hellenistic period

Because

of the presence of hot springs, it is thought that there must have been

a thermal bath complex already in the Hellenistic period, but probably

at a smaller scale than the later Roman site. No architectural material

was found in Allianoi belonging to this period apart from a few

archaeological and numismatic clues.

Roman period

During

the Roman Imperial Period and especially as of the 2nd century AD,

consistent with the emergence of a multitude of urban centers in Anatolia and also with the construction of the famous Asklepion

of nearby Pergamon, the number of public works built in Allianoi also

increased. Many of the edifices encountered at the site today date from

this period. Besides the thermal baths, the bridges, the streets, the insulae, the Connection Building, propylon and the nympheum were all planned and built during this period.