Ancient City Alabanda is revealing out with the contributions of Alabanda Tourism Inc.
“Association for the Protection and Evaluation Of Cultural Wealth Of Alabanda” established in Çine and “Alabanda Tourism CO Inc.” in Ankara are trying to reveal out this important city.
According to the legend, in the 4000s BC, the shepherd Marsyas found the flute which goddess Athena threw away as her face became ugly while she was playing it, and he admired the sound of it. Marsyas played so beautifully that whoever heard his playing was filled with admiration to this never-heard-before sound.
When Marsyas was informed of the praises, he boasted and boasted. Deriving courage from these praises, he continued his exaggerated words.
-Even the lyre of God Apollo could not sound better than my flute.
Eventually God Apollo heard his words, wanted to put him in his place and said:
-So you are boasting with the sound of your flute. Prove it, let’s compete.
But he had a condition. “Winner would do whatever he wishes on the loser”
A competition was held upon Apollo’s demand. When the arbitrator King Midas judged both music masters to be equal. Apollo got angry and lengthened the ears of Midas. Moreover, Apollo used his divine skills and suggested Marsyas that they played the instruments from reverse in the second round. Marsyas was taken unaware and accepted Apollo’s proposal and attempted to play the flute from the reverse direction.
Finding out that the flute gave no sound, he understood that he was deceived. But since he lost the competition, Apollo killed him by flaying his skin.
“Nine Fairies of Art” who were regretful for the death of the flute master Marsyas, cried so much that their tears formed the Marsyas River flowing between the mountains…
It is widely recognized that the Carias founded Alabanda City.
The ambassador of Antiokheia, who came to the city according to the order of the Amphiktyon Council , conveyed his demand on the immunity of the council. Upon this application, the Council decided that the Alabanda City should be declared as immune sacred territory devoted to God Zeys and Apollo.
With this decision, the name of Apollo, one of the gods of the city , was changed to Apollo Isotimos. Isotimos means, “equal in resped.” And the name of Zeus, another god of the city, was changed to Zeus Khpysaoreus.
The people of Alabanda lived in abundance, richness and entertainment.
Alabanda was superiorto the other cities in the region with respect to art.
Issuance of coins in the city started in the beginnings of III. Century BC, just before the name of the city turned into Khrysaor Antiokheia.
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On the coins issued were generally the figured of flying Pegasus. We know that Alabanda was for a certain period of time the only city with power to issue golden coins.
In the slopes to the south of the city, there were cores of dark violet marble, which was used in the production of glass under high temperature. On the other hand, the city was producing roses and crystal.
This city with 90% of it still buried, is called “an antigue city which is as much important as Ephesus” with its theatre half buried, ruins of a council house, two temples completely buried and a hidden agora.
The Council House of Alabanda is a rectangular building. The southern and northern walss of it are completely standing and the eastern and western walls are partially on foot.
This council house is an important indicator of the introduction of democracy in the Anatolian territories. “Association for the Protection and Evaluation Of Cultural Wealth Of Alabanda” established in Çine and “Alabanda Tourism CO Inc.” in Ankara are trying to reveal out this important city. The excavation has started in August 1999.
Alabanda Ancient City
(Emin YENER - ARCHEOLOGIST/AYDIN MUSEUM MANAGER)
Alabanda is located within Çine district in Aydın province. It is about 4 kilometers west of the Çine streamlet (Marsyas). The name of the city is derived from the Carian words meaning Ala (horse) Banda (race). Stephanus, the Byzantine historian, relates that because Alabandos, the son of King Car, had won a horse race, the city was named Alabanda. However, Cicero tells us in his book the “Gods World” that the city had gotten the name from the Snow-God Alabandos. Afterwards we learn the first information at the ends of the 3rd century BC about Alabanda that wasn’t mentioned in Alexander the Great’s arrival to Anatolia. Considering this the king of Syria, III. Antiokhos had given the name Khrysaor Antiokhia to the city; Macedonian king had stated the wishes of III. Antiokhos about the immunity of the city by an ambassador coming there, in an epigraph in Delphoi with the resolution of the assembly. After this, the assembly approves the city as an immune and devoted to Zeus Khrysaoreos and Apollon Isotimos and it is decided to devote a little statue to the Apollon Temple in Delphoi, which ornaments the city and the king.
Alabanda city had been destroyed by V. Philippos (222-175 BC) the king of Macedonia, before the Magnesia war in 190 BC. Alabanda naturally shared the same end because of Lykia’s and Karia’s staying in Rhodos sovereignty by Apemeia agreement signed in 188 BC after the war. But Rhodos can’t so effective in the city only has a Hellius priest. At Mylasa Rhodos war in 167 BC, Alabanda had fight against Rhodos with Mylasa like a free city. Livius the Roman historian mentioned that Alabanda had sent a crown at 23 kg. weight and many presents to Rome had begun in the 3rd century BC at Alabanda before becoming Antiokheia Khrysaoreus.
Striking coins, which is stopped from time to time , had continued at the Term of Roman Empire. There had been flying horse is related to foundation myth of the city.
After Rome becomes entirely the dominator of Anatolia, in 70 BC, Alabanda ad joined to Asia province as the 21st city. Declaring Ephesus as the capital of province in 48 BC, Alabanda had became the capital of district. And Nysa had joined there with Miletus, Priene and Tralleis.
Alabanda was is good relationship with Rome at 1st century BC and 2nd century AC. Strabon had reported that the city was very rich, the people were very fond of amusement and fun, there were many girls playing harp in the city.
Alabanda had joined to sovereignty of Byzantine at IV. Century AC, after a while became a bishop center bounded to Aphrodisias archibishropic. The city dominated by Turks in XI. Century was conquered by the Crusaders. However it has been under Turkish domination since 1280.
At the hillsides of Alabanda City’s south parts, purple colored marbles were produced which can be glass by dissolving at high temperations. There was produced crystal at the city, which was also famous with its roses.
The efforts to get so famous Alabanda antique city in to archaeology world and tourism didn’t naught. Aydın Museum began to archaeological excavations in 1999 by the permissions of Ministry of Culture Directorate of Monuments and Museums. Aydın Province Culture Directorate Municipality of Çine, Alabanda Society of Cultural Existence Protection and Evaluation and Alabanda Tourisim Incorporated Company support the excavation works actively.
Today, there seem many architectural remnants in the city.
The ramparts surrounding Alabanda Ancient City had partially survived until today. The ramparts made during the Hellenistic period are exhibiting the beautiful samples of hewing stone works.
The government building located at the north of the city and at plan. It is a rectangular construction measuring 26*36m. There are four entries at the south of the construction, one at the east and one at the west. Seat rows were shaped in semicircle. The upper part of the north out wall is adorned with plasters.
Agora is rectangular construction having the dimension of 72*114m. at the south of the government building.
Ruins of Hammam belonging to Roman term, were located at the middle part of the city.
Theatre had been built at the side of a hill at the north of the city. The theatre made at the Hellenistic period had been used with changes at Rome and Byzantine ages.
It is one of the most important constructions of Alabanda City. As Vitriuvius had reported, the plan of the temple was drown by architect Menesthes. Ethem Bey, who made excavations at the temple, shows the constructions as an 8*11 columned peripiteros. A Schober asserts that the temple is an 8*13 columned ionic pseudodipteras. E. Akurgal has the same idea with him. E.Akurgal was reported that a piece of frizz, on which the Amazon Wars were described, found out at the exacavations was belonging to that temple which was built at the second part of the 2nd century BC.
Dor Temple is located on a 64*44 m. terrace on the side of the hill that is at the west of Alabanda City. Ethem Bey had brought the temple to light by making excavations in 1904. Ethem Bey had reported that the walls and column of the temple were made of granite and covered with imitated marble.
Except the constructions shortly defined above, there are necropolis fields and many undefined architectural ruins at Alabanda.