Archaeological excavations at the ancient city of Perge in southern Turkey have reached their 65th year, the Hürriyet Daily News reports. This makes them the longest-running excavations in a country with a wealth of ancient sites.
Perge (aka Perga) is in Turkey’s Antalya province and was founded 3,500 years ago by the Hittites. It became a prosperous Greek colony like Ephesus and Pergamon and was for a time under Persian rule. Many of the surviving remains are from the Roman period. In the early days of Christianity, St. Paul preached there (Acts 14:25). Several interesting monuments can still be seen such as a theatre, a stadium, two city gates, and a temple to Artemis.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site is so massive that more than a half century of digging has only uncovered a quarter of it. The current project is to restore many of the columns that once lined the streets.
Perga is at one end of a challenging 300+ mile trek called the St. Paul Trail that cuts diagonally across the country.
For more information and photos, check out this Anatolian travel page.
[Photo courtesy archer10 (Dennis) via flickr]