Archaeology Lecture: Aphrodisias – A monumental city in inland Caria

Aphrodisias is located in ancient Caria, in southwestern Turkey. The city was famed in antiquity for its sculpture and its local cult of Aphrodite. The Roman and Late Antique monuments and statues are remarkably well-preserved. The various settlement phases from the Roman period to our day can be followed in an unusually detailed manner. Aphrodisias was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2017. The main criteria for its inscription, besides its well-preserved monuments, was the essential and complete information that the city provides on ancient marble carving processes and the final product – the statues that were set up to honour governors and benefactors.

Current research, led by New York University and the University of Oxford, has brought exciting discoveries about the city’s life and occupation, focusing on five major excavation and restoration projects: 1) Tetrapylon Street, the thoroughfare of the Aphrodisias 2) Civil Basilica and Diocletian’s Price Edict, a witness of ancient economy 3) Place of Palms, a tree-lined urban park and its pool, 4) Sebasteion, an extravagant temple complex for Roman emperors, and 5) House of Cybele, a grand late antique residence.

Serra Somersan: Serra is a DPhil candidate in Classical Archaeology at Kellogg College, University of Oxford. Her research is on cultic landforms in antiquity in Western Asia Minor. Besides focusing on her own research, Serra has been working at Aphrodisias since 2017 as the assistant director of the project. She is also a professional tour guide in Turkey and specialises in hiking tours to hidden archaeological sites that she is passionate about

This event is free and open to all, no booking required.

Refreshments will be served from 17:00