A 2,200 year-old fountain was discovered in the ancient city of Assos in Turkey, the Daily Sabah, a Turkish newspaper, reported Tuesday.
Located in northwest Turkey, Assos has been undergoing excavations since 1981 and was added to UNESCO’s Tentative World Heritage List in 2017. Excavations have yielded many interesting artifacts, structures, and insights, including an ancient theater, agora, necropolis, and protective walls. Yet after 42 years, this is the first time the archaeologists have come across a monumental fountain structure.
“It’s a very important structure in terms of urban architecture, and it had been seriously damaged during the Byzantine period,” said Nurettin Arslan, the head of excavation, in an interview with the Daily Sabah. “Despite this, once the initial excavation is complete, we can re-erect the existing pieces and allow visitors to grasp the scene or appearance in front of the fountain a little better.”
Also called Appolonia, the city was settled and colonized by a Greek Aeolian tribe in the 10th century B.C.E. and enjoyed a golden period under King Hermias, who encouraged philosophers to live in the city. Assos is perhaps most famous as the place where Aristotle founded his school. The philosopher married and adopted a daughter while living in Assos, only to leave once Persian invaders came and killed the Hermias. Alexander the Great, tutored by Aristotle, would eventually take the city back for the Greeks. The city experienced a prolonged decline during the Byzantine period, shrunk to the size of a village, until eventually becoming the modern day town of Behramkale.