Turkey, Culture

Turkey: Unearthed relic in Patara honors Roman senator

‘There is really valuable information for scientists specialized in ancient history,’ says chief excavator

Suleyman Elcin   | 06.06.2020
Turkey: Unearthed relic in Patara honors Roman senator Chief excavator Havva Iskan Isik of Akdeniz University

ANTALYA, Turkey 

An unearthed inscription in the ancient city of Patara in Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, honors the Roman senator Tiberius Claudius Flavianus Titianus Celer.  

Located in the Kas district of southwestern Antalya province, Patara is known as the capital of the ancient Lycian civilization, which consisted of 23 cities in the middle of the first century BC.

As a result of investigations on the inscription, it was determined it was made by Vilia Prokla, one of the city's leading families and wealthiest women to honor her son -- the Roman senator and governor of Cyprus and the Pontus States.

The inscription, which conveys details about the senator the world knew little about, will be exhibited at the Demre Museum after a period in the garden oft the excavation house.

Chief excavator Havva Iskan Isik of Akdeniz University told Anadolu Agency the excavation team found the inscription in 27 pieces.

Isik said experts from Antalya Conservation and Restoration Laboratory are restoring the inscription

“This is a very important inscription. We had information about Celer's mother and father with the same name. However, we did not have enough information about him. We had a detailed knowledge. There is really valuable information for scientists specialized in ancient history. It became a gift of the Year of Patara to us,” she added.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in February announced 2020 as the year of Patara in a bid to promote and draw attention to the ancient city.

With its history and historical characters -- Alexander the Great, Emperor Nero, St. Nicholas, known as Santa Claus, and Abdulhamid II -- the city is well known as the "cradle of civilizations.

It was home to one of the world’s first democratic parliamentary systems and was a hub for ancient Egyptian traders.

With its 6,000-year-old heritage, the region is also known for the remains of the Lycian parliament building and its lighthouse, possibly the world’s oldest, as well as its tranquil beaches.

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