türkçe links to original Turkish article
(Hürriyet Newspaper, 5 October 2015)
Holding up pretty well after two millenia.
Excavations are contiuing at the 2,000 year-old Anavarza
(Anazarbus) Antique City, situated on a 4,000 dönüm
(1,000 acres) area in Dilekkaya village of Kozan district,
Adana province. Now, for the first time the place where
the gladiators fought with wild animals has been found.
Dr. Fatih Gülşen of Çukurova University's Archeology
Department provided information about the excavation, which
has been going non-stop for 14 months. He said that there is
a fortress at a height of 200 meters, along with baths,
churches, a victory gate, aqueducts, rock graves, a stadium,
mosaics and an antique theater, making it the largest antique
city in Anatolia.
A marvel of city planning, but how to get up there?
Dr. Gülşen explained that "in the third century A.D. a majestic
arch 22.5 meters long and 10.5 meters high, was erected to
commemorate the Roman Empire's victory over the Persians
and it is still standing."
Continuing, Dr. Gülşen stated that "there is a very important
historic stadium at Anavarza, an amphitheater at the southern
tip of the city. The stadium structure is one of the three largest
stadiums in Anatolia. These were the places where the world's
first olympics were held at big cities like Anavarza."
"We haven't started to excavate the amphitheater yet. There is
a flat area at the oval portion of a structure that was built upon
arched footings. Underneath is where the gladiators stayed and
we're certain that the cellers where the wild animals like lions
and tigers were kept will emerge with the excavations."
"There are three examples of this in Anatolia and Anavarza is
the best preserved of them all. Once we uncover this structure,
and after all the restorations are completed, this will be the only
one showing the complete plan and activities. This will show
how an amphitheater outside of Rome in a province like Anatolia
operated, how it was planned out, which wild animals were used
in the exhibitions, the battles between these animals and the
gladiators, what sort of implements were used. This will be a
great win for the archeological world."