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Stratonikeia

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Stratonikeia, a city in the interior of Caria, is located at Eskihisar Village, in the Yatağan district of the Muğla province. The first scientific excavations at the site began in 1977 under the direction of Prof. Dr. Yusuf Boysal. Prof. Dr. Bilal Söğüt has been carried out researches, excavations and restoration works since 2008.

Ancient writers Herodotus (v, 118), Strabo (xiv, ii, 25), Pausanias (5, 21, 10) and Stephanus of Byzantium (Ethnica 696) mention a settlement here named Chrysaoris or Idrias. After 281 B.C. the Seleucid King Antiochos I changed the name of the city to Stratonikeia after the name of his former stepmother and later wife. Stratonikeia and the surrounding region changed hands among the Seleucids, the Ptolemaics, the Macedonians, Rhodians and Romans.  The city kept its importance in the Roman Imperial Period and developed continuously. It benefited greatly from the constructions carried out during the Early Imperial Period and especially the 2nd century A.D.  In the Byzantine Era the see of Stratonikeia like other cities in the region was dependent on Aphrodisias.

 

It is known that with the Anatolian conquest, the Emirates extended as far as southwestern Anatolia.  Stratonikeia continued to be settled in the Emirates Period in the 14-15th centuries and afterwards.  Many Ağas (landowners) were present at the village in the late Ottoman Period.  Although the Eskihisar village has moved to a new area, today 5 families still remain in the historic village houses within territories of the ancient city.

The borders of Stratonikeia are known thanks to the fortification walls and its size can be easily determined.  However, within the city only certain structures have been excavated.  Therefore, our knowledge of the number of the structures on the city plan is limited.  Based on the excavated structures and the street system, it is likely that the city was built on a grid plan.  The structures in the city are fortification walls, city gate with its monumental fountain, the colonnaded street, gymnasium, bouleuterion, bath, theater, temple and water structure.  In addition, a bath from the Emirates Period (14-15th centuries A.D.), a mosque from the 19th and the 20th centuries, coffeehouse, dwellings, streets, shops and fountain can be found in the ancient city.

Stratonikeia is one of the places where one can see buildings from the ancient period as well as the Ottoman and Turkish Republican Periods.  Thus, a visitor has the opportunity to see many structures belonging to different periods.

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