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Archaeological Site of Perge

Date of Submission: 06/02/2009
Criteria: (ii)
Category: Cultural
Submitted by:
Ministry of Culture and Tourism
State, Province or Region:
Aksu Province, City of Antalya
Ref.: 5411
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Property names are listed in the language in which they have been submitted by the State Party

Description

Perge, the long-established city of Pamphylia region, is located 18 km east of Antalya and 2 km north of Aksu Village. The Archaeological site of Perge has been excavated systemically by Istanbul University since 1946.

Archaeological finds in Perge date back to different periods beginning from the Late Chalcolitic Ages. It's revealed through the even rarely found remains that Perge had been settled permanently in Early Bronze Ages, meaning that it is a significant settlement witnessing permanent land use from the beginning of that time.

One of the remains belonging to early periods of settlement has been excavated in Bogazköy. "Parha" name written on a bronze plate by cuneiform script and documenting an agreement in 13th BC is associated with the name of Perge. Any remains contemporary with the bronze plate has not been found yet.

During the Hellenistic period, the city also enlarged through the campaign in the south. City Walls of that era and a part of it (South Gate-the circular shaped tower) have been unearthed.

The city is also known with the local sculptures. On the other hand, the women were very active on the administrative level of the city. This is also emphasized with the fine sculptures of the important women such as Platia Magna.

Perge reigned by the Romans beginning from BC 133 by the legacy of Pergamon. An inscription excavated in Perge reveals the state organizations in the 1st AD and the location of Perge within this organizational scheme. According to this inscription, a federal state of Lykia and Pamphylia has been founded and Perge partook within this administration. The city benefited from the prosperity and built monumental structures, while welfare period last until the mid of the 3rd AD. The city remained under the Easter Roman domain beginning from the 5th AD, and then reigned by the Seljuks, Hamidogullari and the Ottomans respectively.

Justification of Outstanding Universal Value

In the Classical period, Perge had a grid-iron plan with a defense system. It is discovered through the excavations that the quality of this grid-iron city plan and defense system was advanced and new monumental buildings for cult and other purposes were built in Hellenistic Period. In Archaic and Classical periods, however, Perge has the urban characteristics containing native and Hellenic motives and having relations with different centers and states in East Mediterranean. For this features city stands as an important sample of classical city planning.

Criteria (ii): Perge is very important from the aspect of city planning during the Late Classical, Hellenistic and Roman Empire. The distinctive order of the Acropolis during the Late Classical systematically carried to Lower City. The concept of "democratia" is very important for the city planning during the Classical Period. This was also true for Hellenistic and Roman Empire period in Perge. The position of the Colonnaded Street is very important for constituting the north-south direction of the city.

On the other hand, the water channel which crosses the Colonnaded Street from one end to another is another important design of the city. Supported with the four monumental fountains and two baths give the city the impression of a water city for this time period.

The defense system of the city which was built in the Hellenistic period and repaired and strengthened during the later periods is another distinctive feature of the city. The city walls, towers, bastions and monumental gates of the Lower City still in good condition of preservation. The walls of the Acropolis are important samples of classical military architecture.

Statements of authenticity and/or integrity

The site and the surrounding protected by the Turkish Legislation for Preservation of Cultural and Natural Property, Law No.: 2863 amended as 1., 2. and 3. degree archaeological site since 1981.

Comparison with other similar properties

Perge is very distinctive for its comprehensive visual perception compared to other archaeological cities amongst its contemporaries in the wider area.