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Konya, Hadim Bolat Area Astra Archaic City

Astra archaic city is located in Temaşalık Hill location of Bolat Area of Hadim District of Konya Province.

Upon its being subject to big illegal excavations, it has been taken under protection with a guard and has been converted into a ruin place connected to Konya Museum Directorate. But in 1955, its guard has retired.

With the asphalt road turning to west from the crossroads that is 17 km to Hadim on Konya - Hadim highway, Bolat Area is reached and from there, with a 6 km stabilized road, At Location is reached. Thereafter, by walking on a steep and rough path for approximately 4 km, Temaşalık Hill, where Astra is located, is reached.

Astra archaic city has been first found in 1885 by Sterret. Sterret has worked only on inscriptions and 7 inscriptions have been found. From these inscriptions, it has been learnt that the name of the city was Astra. Then Miss Hereward has found 2 inscriptions, and Mitford has found 16 new inscriptions in 1966. In 1992, in Astra city, where no scientific studies have been carried out except reading a few inscriptions, cleaning and drilling works have been started by a commission under the chairmanship of Archeologist Osman Ermişler. The works have been continued in 1993 and 1994. The plan of the city has been determined, its plundered appearance has been eliminated, although partially, and its structures have been completed. The church and auditorium have been brought to light as the result of the excavations made and the plans and relieves of them have been prepared. Two typical Isaura - character graves have been opened in the necropolis. As the result of reading the inscriptions, it has been evidenced that the city had an administration special to it and it was a town connected to Isaura. The ceramic furnace found shows that ceramics were produced in Roman Period in Astra.

Astra archaic city is in the northern part of Toros Mountains, in Isaura region. It forms a triangle with other important cities of Isaura state, namely Isaura and Astanada and these cities can be seen with naked eye from Astra. An inscription relating to a donation made by a rich man from Isaura has proved its relation with Isaura. From two Antiocheia coins belonging to Roman Period, it has been understood that this place had commercial relationships with Pisidiae Antiocheia.

The city is located on the flat top of Temaşalık Hill, lying in east - west direction. this hill has a height of 1760 m from sea level. Important structures are placed on two sides of the agora lying in the form of a large area in east - west direction, in the middle of the top. On the eastern, southern and northern skirts of the hill surrounded by city walls constructed with rubble stones without mortar, a big number of civil structures and houses are grouped. There are two necropolises, one of which is in the east and the other in the west. There are many ash boxes, stels and grave lions in the necropolises. In the west of the western necropolis and on the eastern skirts of Kuralan Hill, the plateau houses of Bolat Village are located. These plateau houses having a single room, made of simple piled rubble stone without mortar and plaster have been started to be constructed 80 - 100 years ago and the houses are about to be ruined.

The road starting from the Devler Gediği Plain, where western necropolis is located, reaches the mid part of the city wall from the southern skirt of Temaşalık Hill. It is a sloped and narrow road. the shoes of the entrance door of the city are in place, its upper arch and other parts are on the ground. Through the door, agora is entered. On the southern edge of Agora, the bazaar structure is located, after that, towards east, the ruins of Zeus Astragos temple are seen. In the western part of the agora, there are two heroon ruins across the door. At the western end of the agora, the high fort, which is surrounded with wall is located. The fort is reached through an arched door from the east. In the northern part of the fort, a second temple ruin is seen. This is understood to be a temple from the inscription obtained in it.

On the northern side of Agora, an auditorium belonging to the Roman Period is located. In the east of 2/3 circle planned auditorium having nine steps and eight meter diameter, a church has been constructed in 5th - 6th century AD. The church has a three - neph basilica plan. It has been found as the result of cleaning. Auditorium must have been used as the meeting place of the church in that period. From the eastern door of the city, the eastern necropolis is reached. There is a monumental grave on the eastern side of eastern necropolis, the entrance of which is surrounded with courtyard wall. Two sarcophagus bases are seen in it. A heroon is seen on the northwestern side of the monumental grave. The ceramic furnace that has been opened in the northwest of the monumental grave has proved that ceramics have been produced here in the 2nd and 3rd century in Roman Period. The pot prints and printed pot parts found in the furnace are interesting.

The works that will be carried out in Astra archaic city may provide many other data for the archeology science.


Source: T.C. Ministry of Culture
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