The ancient city of Nysa short documentary that included the introduction of geography and can monitor various platforms.


Feeding the best soils under the sky, Maiandros River flows woefully and zestily for centuries, during its trip to Aiges. During this trip, with the yearnful gloom of an unnamed heritage it flows with a unique salute to Nysa from the shore, This mysterious heritage;

A creek that managed to leave its marks even though it couldn't make it to our day, running between the mountains, over the Nysa, with the memories of the past, yearning to reach the meandros river...
During its trip to Meandros, this mysterious creek carved a path through the mountains, left its marks on the canyon and divided Nysa which is one of the most beatiful cities in history by flowing right through its heart, and enabled the city to be remembered as "the Double City". Just like the mysterious water in Meandros, having been lost in the mists of the time but has never been forgotten, Nysa sheds light to the World with its past civilization even today, and with its weary but strong structure, watches its indispensable part Meandros for centuries while patiently waiting to see the light... Who would've guessed that a city with its green and unique location where bright creeks come together, a city of civilization which will embrace hundreds of generations in the future was established during the 3rd century Before Christ, when the first stone was put onto the other...
Wide Bazaar surrounded by columned porches on all four sides; with their "Agora's". With its wide "Palaestra" which is one of the biggest ones in the Anatolia; and the "Gymnasium" where athleticism and training events are held, With "Gerontikon" 'Elders Council' that hosts many cultural and political meetings in the city, With Stadion that reflects the Roman Period architecture's superior features as it built in accordance with the topography. With its Avenues and Streets, Bridges, Forum area, Bazaar basilica and monumental entrance, wait for the city which left its marks in history, is now over. Nysa... also known as "the Double City" in history, is coming to light. With the marks of the past, it is waiting to offer the pool of knowledge To its future guests;

Nysa is Waiting…

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Nysa, in the 20th century caught many researcher's interest. Between the years 1907 and 1909, German Walther von Diest kept their excavations and research with a team consisting of archeologists and map makers. Afterwards, in 1921, the Greeks proceeded with the study. İzmir Archeology Museum carried out excavation studies in Gerontikon and the Theatre during the 1960's. Moreover, Aydın Archeology Museum carried out some short-term studies in the stage building of the Theatre in 1980's. The research, excavation and renovation studies in Nysa during the years of 1990 and 2010 were carried out by the team whose president was Vedatİdil, academic member of Ankara University Faculty of Language History and Geography Professor and whose vice president was Prof. Musa Kadıoğlu Professor as of the year 2012.The studies were carried out under the presidency of Aydın Archeology Museum; and with the scientific counseling of Ass. Prof. Serdar Hakan Öztaner, who is one of the academic members of Ankara University Faculty of Language History and Geography.

Excavation and restoration works in Nysa Antique City continue with the permission and fiscal resources of Culture and Tourism Ministry in the year 2014. Yaşar Education and Culture Foundation is one of the most important promoters of the scientific studies carried out in Nysa Antique City; and they keep contributing to the studies carried out in 2014; in fiscal ways; just as they have been doing since 1998.

Nysa Antique City was built on a valley, in an impressive topography; and efforts in scientific publication and promotion have been made on national and international levels in order to keep the city ready to serve national tourism and archeology, with its archeological potential and uncovered glorious structures.


It was discovered after the excavation and studies in the antique city that the structures revealing the ruins belong to Roman and Late Roman Times. Hellenistic Era Structures belonging to the initial years of the city were overwhelmed by the architecture of Roman and Late Roman Times; which were commonly seen in the city. In the west rim, Gymnasium, Theatre and Station; in the East Rim, Agora and Gerontikon must be the structures with Hellenistic Era origins.

The city, also known as Nysa of Menderes; was fairly advanced in education and culture especially during the Roman Times. The structures used for the educational objectives include the Gymnasium, where the men were trained, and the Library. The Library is among the most prominent examples of well-preserved libraries in Anatolia, along with the Ephesus Celcius Library. Beside these structures, the Theatre and the Station also reflect on what an advanced culture the Nysa City had. The information regarding the political, social and commercial life in the city is obtained from Gerontikon and the Community Council and Agora.

Most of the construction, built in relation with the topography, reflects the architectural and engineering characteristics of Roman Times in a fairly striking way. Stadion built on a valley, 3 bridges and the tunnel through which the river parting the city in two are among the examples of Roman architecture worth seeing. About 3 km west of the city there is a cemetery (Nekropol) comprised of two-story vaulted structures. And on further western side, there is a sacred area. (Akharaka/Pluton and Kore Temple) With the help of uncovered ruins, it is understood that until A.D 13 in Late Roman and Byzantium Times, life continued in the city. In A.D 13 and 14 Seljuks and a few Ottoman Beyliks dominated the Aydın Region. In the 15th century, Nysa was abandoned and people started to live in the modern-day settlement Sultanhisar, which is in the west of Nysa.


One of the well-preserved structures, the Theatre, covers an area of 395 square kilometers. In the late Hellenistic Era (the latter half of the B.C 1), presumably, a housing space which exceeds the form of a semicircle by 12 degrees, was attached to the original structure. Stage building belonging to the structure and scanea frons (multi-story columned structure in front of the stage building) was constructed in a two-story form between A.D 120 and 140 independently from "cavea". The stage building of Hadrian Area, fell down with the earthquake in 178 and was again built in a three-story form between the years 180 and 200. Nysa Theatre, like the other Anatolian antique theatres, carries the characteristic features of Anatolian-Roman theatres. The high platforms carrying the multi-story facade architecture in front of the stage building (scaenae frons) are decorated with embossments just as in Perge (Aksu), Side and Hierapolis (Pamukkale) Theatre. Podium Friezes narrating the marriage of Pluton and Kore; and the life story of Dionysos (wine god) were uncovered as in situ (in its own place) during the scaenaefrons excavations. The Podium Friezes, in which one can see many mythologically important figures, also narrates some quotations from the geography in which the city is located. River Menderes and Mountains of Messogis are among the examples. (1st Podium).Though they have been damaged for various reasons (mostly earthquakes or human-driven reasons); broken pieces and figures have been repaired. Other plastic works of Scaenae have been uncovered in excavations and studies carried out from 1982. 3 women sculptures dressed as Ephesus's Hera, Melpomene (one of the muses) and other sculptures have been exhibited in the hall of Aydın Museum, reserved for Nysa Antique City.


Agora is a vast market place covering an area of 113.5 meters in the direction of east-west; and 130 meters in the direction of north-south. The structure of 88.5x102 m, with columned porches on its four sides, have been dated back to Late Hellenistic Era especially due to the architectural features of its East Stoa. Agora is surrounded bystoas in a double colonnaded way; in the northern and eastern sides; whereas it is surrounded by stoas in single colonnaded way in southern and western sides. Moreover, there lies a line of shops with a vaulted cover top; at the back of North Stoa. Thanks to intensive studies and excavations in East and North Stoas from 1990, an area in which a structure built in B.C 50 (Late Hellenistic Era) exists. This area was used for diverse functions till the Byzantium Period. 50). Sculpture and ceramic particles obtained in such areas have informed us about the phases of use and functions of the structure. A main road (Plateia) which is tangent to the western stoa of Agora in north-south direction separates the structure from the Parliament Building/Gerontikon, which is located on its western side. Also, a gate at the center of west stoa making it possible to enter Agora has been discovered.


Gerontikon (Community Council) is located on the eastern side of the city northwest of Agora. It is separated from the main road (platea) which is in the north-south axis. Thestructure compound is 27.84x23.55 m, propylon (monumental gate), forecourt, two-storeyscaenae frons (stage building) and cavea (benches) are other parts of this structure. In order to enter the structure, which has a capacity of 700 seats, one needs to get into propylon which is located on the main road. In the middle of AD 2 2 the structure was made to be built again by a wealthy man named SextusLuliusAntoninusPythodoros upon the bequest of his mother; with its two-story scanae frons, forecourt, and propylon. Though not a single ruin from Gerontikon has survived until today, this structure from AD 2 must have been built in the area where Gerontikon is located. This structure with its covered top must have served a lot of cultural and political gatherings in the city.


The Gymnasium, which was built in the middle of AD 2, was used not only for athletics but also for educational purposes. It has a grand palaestra (170x82). In fact, it is among the grandest examples in Anatolia. The Gymnasium was commonly used by menfor relaxation as well. There lays a broad cistern in the middle of the palaestra (atrium).After many studies it was found that the cistern dates back to even older days than the ruins of Gymnasium. Palaestra is surrounded with vaulted pillars decorated with theatre masks. Today, these pillars can be found in the excavated area of the structure, in the southeast region. Again in the southeast part, a remnant of a bridge which links the structure to the city has been found located on the other side of the valley. Most of the structure is underground. There is a bath compound which serves for the functional sustainability of the structure in the south of the Gymnasium. Studies and excavation works have not yet started in this area; but the main north wall of this structure (80.5 x 47 m) which is around 7.5 m in height can be observed in the southern part of the Gymnasium. While the Gymnasium surviveduntil 6 AD, housing and agricultural activities existed in West Portiko. From this date, the settlement was completely abandoned. The excavation works and studies to understand the structure were carried out between 1990-1991 and 2008-2010.


Constructed around AD 130, this structure was used as a library, a meeting hall and a courtroom. The structure (25x14 m inside, 13.3x8.7 m outside) has two stories to which you can reach through wood aisles and 16 book shelves. It was discovered that in the northern part of the inner room, there was a stand located on a heightened platform and it was used by speakers and judges. The platform was allegedly used to reach the second floor as well. The tomb of the person who commissioned the library was uncovered during the excavation works in the southern part of the structure. Today, it is exhibited in Aydın Archeological Museum Either at the end of the 4th century or at the beginning of the 5th century the library went through a repair process and its function for public use completely came to an end. During this period, ateliers and neighborhoods started to be built in the western side of the structure. And in the 900's, the inner room was converted into a chapel and people started to use the southern side of the library as a cemetery as well. During the excavations, 12 tombs and 34 treasures have also been uncovered.These belong to the late cemeteries in AD 9 or AD 10 beside the tomb of the founder of the library. During the 12th and 13th centuries which account for the last phase of the structure, the vault of the long abandoned hall was ruined.


This structure, mentioned by Antique Age Geographer and Historian Strabon, reflects the superior qualities of Roman Architecture. Since it was built in accordance with the topography, it has an impressive substructure. The structure, partially preserved on the both sides of the valley, has still its benches and substructures on the northwest side.


Studies to uncover the avenue and streets, which are parallel and cut vertically to each other, have been going on since 2005. Especially, the streets relating to the Library and the Parliament Building as well as the main road of the city have just begun to be uncovered. Besides, 3 bridges integrated into this regulation were built on the points which link the public buildings to each other; due to the necessities of urban transportation in Nysa, which is a city located on in valley.


Southeast of the theatre, towards Gerontikon and Agora, the downtown Basilica was first discovered by a figural capital uncovered during a road enlargement project in 1994 on theroad now reaching the Kavaklı village. Results from the excavation works and studies carried out in 2012-2013 have been obtained related to the function of the structure and its architecture. It has been thought that the northern part (20x15 m) of the downtown basilica, in quadrangle form and which is separated from its southern side by 3 arches may have been the tribunal section where the courts were set up. 70m south of the basilica, a monumental hall with 3 gates was uncovered in 2013. According to the results of geo-radar studies carried out in a central part of the city, a forum should be located on the terrace in the eastern side where a downtown basilica is located. In 2014, excavation works and studies have continued in the Downtown Basilica, Forum, and Monumental Gate.


© 2015

Nysa excavations Scientific Advisor Asst. Assoc. Dr. Serdar Hakan Öztan and Team Thank you.

Director: Ahmet Barış Türkkaynağı
Associate Director: Gamze Türkkaynağı
Graphic & Design: Ruhi Coşgun
Assistant: Lütfi Özkal
Sound Studio: Radyo 9
Voice Over: Erdal Akgenç