Priene Archaeological Site is 66 km (41 mile) far to Aydin centurum. The remains of the city on Mt. Mykale are positively identified as Priene by inscriptions and coins. Practically no remains dating to earlier than the mid-fourth century were found at the site, however, despite its extensive excavation. The Germans concluded from this and from the layout of the city that Priene had moved to this site in the mid-fourth century from an earlier, yet undiscovered spot. They attributed the move to the silting of the Maeander river, which also engulfed Myus, Miletus and other nearby cities, as well, later, as Priene itself (Strabo 12.8.17); other scholars have suggested that Mausolus, Athens or other agencies were also involved. Such a move is not attested in the literary sources, and in fact, as Demand has pointed out, some sources seem to imply that Priene was always located in the same place (e.g. Strabo 14.1.12; Paus. 7.2.10; see Demand 1990, 139-146; Phoenix 40 (1986) 36-44). However, the archaeological evidence, including the lack of earlier coins and pottery, earlier architecture or architectural fragments, and the layout of the city, of which the mid-fourth century temple of Athena forms an integral part, seem to show conclusively that there was no earlier occupation at this site.

The end of the city is also problematic. Most of the houses seem to have been destroyed by fire in the second half of the second century BC, and never reoccupied. The bulk of the finds from the excavation come from this destruction level. Parts of the city, including many of the major public buildings, were occupied into the Roman period, though, and a Byzantine chapel attests occupation in that era.

Open daily between 08:00-17:00

Address: Gullubahce Beldesi, Söke – Aydın
Phone: +90.256.547 1165
Admission: 5 TL

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