Mimarlık, Kentsel Tasarım, Şehir Planlama, Bölge Planlama, Arkeoloji, Tarihsel ve Doğal Çevre Korunması.
Architecture, Urban Design, Urban Planning, Regional Planning, Historical Preservation, Archaeology, Natural Environment Preservation.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
CONSERVATION OF PERGE ANTIQUE CITY, CONSERVATION PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS
CONSERVATION OF PERGE ANTIQUE CITY, CONSERVATION PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS
Prof. Dr. in Restoration, Fac. Of Architecture and Engineering, Head of Dep. of Architecture, Abant Izzet Baysal University, Golkoy Campus, Bolu, TURKEY.
V.1. Perge in History
Perge is one of the oldest
cities of the Pamphylia Region, whose name means “Land of All Tribes”. The name
of the city, which is not in Greek but rather, probably, in Hittite or Latin,
and her first-goddess “Artemis Pergaia”, whose cult reaches far back into time
in Anatolia, prove this (1).
It is not possible to put
down an independent and uninterrupted history for the “City of Perge” from its
establishment. For the fate of the city is linked with that of the Pamphylia Region, in which she is
located. Pamphylia has always been a focus of attention for neighbouring
countries for its strategic position in seafaring and in that respect has
played an important role in Antique History (Figure 1). By virtue of its fertile
soil and mild climate, this region has been the birthplace of many
Figure 1. PAMPHYLIA REGION
Excavations in Perge have
revealed important monumental buildings and sculptures that had remained
underground for about 800 years. About thirty partially embossed and written
monumental graves were found on both sides of a graveyard road that leads to
the western city gates in the excavations conducted by Prof. Dr. Arif Müfid
Mansel in the city metropolis in the year 1946. Excavations held in the city
Acropolis and in the yard of a church on the west sides of İyilik Tepe (Hill)
to uncover the Artemis Pergaia Temple were unfruitful. In the years 1953-1957,
the Hellenistic period gates for the city, the yard behind that, the arc with
three passages and one-thirds of the road with columns were unearthed. Work was
continued on the road with columns between the years 1967-1969, and the square
between the Hellenistic gates and the late-antique period gates and the
buildings surrounding it were completely uncovered (Figure 2).
Figure 2. HELLENISTIC GATE
In excavations led by Prof.
Jale İnan, the 3-metre-long body of the Great Alexander statue (1985), the
magnificent statue of the Wine God Dionysos (1987), and about 300 statues of
gods and kings were found. In the theatre excavation, a 65-metre long embossing
(frieze) that depicts the events following the birth of god Dionysos, a 4-metre
high statue of the God Hermes and the statue of Emperor Heraclis. All these
findings are indications that Perge was the most important centre of art and
culture of her period after the first half of the second century, AD. Today,
many works exhibited in the Antalya Museum come from the Perge excavations
Figure 3. SCULPTURE OF DANCER
FROM PERGE EXCAVATIONS
Architecture, sculpture and
the art of decoration were well developed in Perge. For instance, the Italian
Baroque style is dominant in the embossments in the theatre. This is an
indication that this style was present and in use in Anatolia long before.
Since the year 1988, former
excavations were continued in the downtown excavations led by Prof. Dr. Haluk
Abbasoğlu, and formerly unexplored residences and shops are still being
Perge has gone through three
1.The First Period is in the Hellenistic Era, in the 3rd
and 2nd centuries BC. It is demonstrated by magnificent walls and
towers, which are only partly standing today.
2.The Second Period belongs to
the Era of the Roman Empire, 2nd
and 3rd centuries AD; it is illustrated by many monuments (theatre,
stadium, columned streets, bathhouses, monumental fountains, gymnasium and the
agora) which are still standing (Figure 4) .
SOUTH NYMPHEUM (MONUMENTAL FOUNTAIN)
In fact, these show that
Perge was an important town in the 3rd century, which was, in general,
a period of chaos and decline in Anatolia, that she had been made the “metropolis”, that is, a state centre
where Roman prefects and officers resided, in the time of Emperor Tacitus. Side
was that centre prior to Perge.
The last period of plenty
falls into the Christian period (5th
and 6th centuries AD). In that period the town was once again a “metropolis”, but this time a “metropolitan” centre within the church
establishment; along with repairing her walls and extending them southwards,
she was decorated with many churches, their extensions and new districts
forming around them. However, the raids by mountain tribes on one side and
Arabs on the other, coupled with the development of Antalya (Attalia),
neighbour and rival to Perge, and Antalya becoming the capital of a Byzantine
Theme in the 8th century have caused Perge to decline (Figure 5).
Figure 5. ANTALYA AT THE END OF THE 19TH CENTURY
Perge was ruined during the
Selçuk and Arab raids that continued on from the 12th century and
was deserted by her people. Some historians suggest that the people retired to
the Acropolis and lived there for some time, mingling with the Turkish wains,
and that the Acropolis corresponds to the Karahisarı
Teke mentioned by Evliya Çelebi.
Acropolis of Perge rises in the north; the main city is placed in the flatlands
south of that hill. In the Hellenistic Period, the city was surrounded by
walls, which were reinforced by towers. Since the Roman territories reached up
to the Britannia Islands all the way from Mesopotamia, thus Anatolia was in
total security brought about by “pax romana”, the walls had lost their importance and some of those were
destroyed to extent the city southwards. Large bathhouses, the Agora, the
square between the two gates and its surrounding buildings were placed in this
part (2) (Figure 6). However, when the tribes living in northern mountainous
regions started coming down to the plain and gradually started making more
frequent raids, defensive structures were reconsidered, old walls were
repaired, and new walls built in the south to defend the buildings in that
Figure 6 . PERGE PLAN / MAIN MONUMENTAL BUILDINGS
Perge is divided into four
parts or districts by two large columned streets, one lying in a north-south,
the other in a east-west direction. These streets, which are formed by a
pavement part and wide water channel in the middle and columned galleries and
shops behind them alongside, are not perfectly straight lines but they curve at
certain points (Figure 7).
Figure 7. GENERAL VIEW OF THE CITY FROM SOUTH
Thus, like in some other
Pamphylia towns, a regular “Hippodamos”
plan could not be constructed in Perge, either. The main temples and the famous
“Artemis Pergaia Temple” were
positioned out of town. The top of the main entrance was in the shape of a
rectangular room covered by three separate arcs, round towers up to 15 m. in height were to the
either side and behind it was an oval yard.
Since these “town gates with yards” are also present
in Side and Sillyon, it might be said of them that they are characteristic of
the Panphylian towns. In the Roman Empire period, this part has been
transformed to an honour yard with a religious character. In that respect, it
resembles the Hadrianus gates in Antalya and Athens closely. Right in front of
the western round tower of the square, there are three cells containing a
statue each and a monumental door (propylon)
leading to the great bathhouse beyond, and slightly ahead is positioned a
monumental fountain belonging to the time of Emperor Septimus Severus. The
nymphaeum, another of which is placed on the outskirts of the Acropolis,
contains a large rectangular pool, and two semicircular basins for facilitating
the people getting water in front of a fasad
wall decorated by a two-story column architecture.
V.2. The Byzantine Period and Afterwards
The Early Christian and
Byzantine Period history of Perge between the 7th and the 10th
centuries is dark, when the preceding periods are considered. Although there exists a great body of
knowledge for the pre-Byzantine period, especially the archaeological
researches are insufficient on the subject of Byzantine works. Perge met
Christianity in the 1st century AD. Paulos, of the Apostles of
Jesus, passed through Perge in the first of his four journeys to spread this
new faith. It is unthinkable that Christianity spread quickly in Perge, which
had assimilated the Artemis culture for long centuries. Considering that the
Christian buildings found until today date back to the 4th, 5th
and 6th centuries AD, it can be assumed that this religion gathered
power earliest in the 6th century. Attalia (Antalya), which had been
gaining significance starting from 6th century AD, became the
metropolis; along with that, Perge, joining her close neighbour Sillyon
(Yarköy) to the west, took the title “bishop metropolitan”. The western
travellers and scientists who saw the region in the 19th century (Texier,
Hirchfelt, Lancoronski and Rot) provided the first pieces of information about
the Christian era buildings in Perge.
While the pre-Christian Era
is being systemically researched in Perge archaeological excavations, a
detailed study of Byzantine period works has not been done to date. Of the most
important buildings that prove the Byzantine settlement in Perge are two
basilicas which are located within the city walls and which are designated
Church A and Church B (or bishop church) in publications. Apart from these two
buildings, there is a church on the hill named Eyilik Belen to the south of the
town, Byzantine vaults in the Acropolis, chapels carved into stone and wall
remains whose identity remain indeterminate. Moreover, Byzantine ceramics were
recovered, in however small amounts they may be, within the Acropolis; and this
has given rise to the idea that the Acropolis might have been the main
residential area in the late Byzantine period. It is stated that there are many
vaults belonging to the Byzantine period around and within the Acropolis. Small
chapels are carved into the rocks overlooking the Ağlar Brook behind the
Byzantine remains are also
located on and around the hill known as İyilik Belen, which is placed southeast
of the main settlement. Starting with a church found in Akşıdil Akarcabeli and
pottery recovered on western and southern foothills, it can be maintained that
this was an important district in the Byzantine period. The Byzantine works
outside the city walls consist of the vaults within and around the Acropolis,
of wall remains, of rock chapels, of a church on İyilik Belen and of Byzantine
graves, and a satisfying investigation of those is yet to be conducted. There
is insufficient data about the Turkish period in Perge. There is no data
belonging to the Turkish period, save some Selçuklu and Ottoman porcelain tiles
recovered in researches and excavations conducted in Perge.
Pamphylian towns, including
Perge, were open to the Moslem raids coming from the southeast beginning in the
7th century AD; and their importance was lost with the Byzantine
Empire waning in power in the eastern and southern borders. Perge was included
in the Selçuklu land by I. Gıyaseddin Keyhüsrev (1027); she was put under the
rule of Hamidoğulları Barony in 1299.
V.3. Perge Today,
Preservation Problems and Suggestions
Perge is 18 km. away from Antalya and 2 km. north of the Aksu
settlement (Figure 8 / Plan of PERGE). It was suggested that Perge be included
in the municipality area borders of the town and be preserved and utilised as
an “Archaeological Park” in the Antalya 2015 Master Plan. Visitors to Aspendos,
Sillyon and Perge mostly stay in Antalya and the tourism centres around (Belek,
Side, Kumköy, Bingeţik, Manavgat, Alanya etc.) and in the Southern Antalya
Tourism Centre, and they come to Perge for daily tours. According to 1992 data,
Southern Antalya has beds for about 35000. This capacity will increase up to
180000 until the year 2010. Therefore, forecasts exceeding 100% are possible
for the number of visitors to Perge.
Aksu has gone through almost
no development towards tourism. There are no tourism-inclined establishments
save for a few restaurants lying on the Alanya-Antalya road. Perge being 2 km away, the tours from
outside make almost no contribution to the economy of Aksu (and that of
Çalkaya). However, it is foreseen that hotels, pensions, restaurants and units
for the sale of tourism-gift shops would choose locations around the
Municipality and around the entrance gate to Perge.
The road connecting Aksu
with the villages in the north go through Perge; a dense traffic right in front
of the antique theatre and the stadium, especially the heavy sand-truck
traffic, cause great security problems. The stage of the Theatre has collapsed
due to the damage done by vibrations in time. To prevent further damage to the
Theatre and to the stadium, this road has to be removed urgently, as was
suggested in the Perge Preservation Plan (5).
Figure 8. PLAN OF PERGE
The entrance to the Antique
Town is in the part which is now in front of the Hellenistic Late Period
entrance. With the parking lot, ticket booths, gift shop unit and open-air café
built in the years 1989-1990, this part was arranged and the aim was to meet
the demand. This entrance is problematic in terms of security and tour routes;
when the historical development of the city is examined and the monumental
buildings (theatre, hippodrome) was considered, it can be understood that this
area is almost in the middle of the City, in the town centre for the antique
city. Therefore, the main entrance establishments for the Antique City should
be moved to the part where there is a possibility that the colonnaded road will
continue, near the I. Degree Archaeological Site Border in the south. Today,
there is absolutely no control in the Perge ruins and its proximity. Control
should be provided by, at least, a metal-net fence; the free movements of sheep
and cattle within the Antique City should be restricted. Unregistered and
unlawful buildings are becoming denser, especially on the fertile agricultural land in the III.
Degree Archaeological Site. An unlawful district has formed, complete with its
school and mosque, to the east of the Acropolis and to the north of the Moslem
graveyard. These unlawful buildings should be prevented; they should be frozen
and evacuated in time. In these regions, healthy scientific investigations in
the future require minimal, if possible no, building activities.
Seasonal agriculture could
be carried out in this area. However, hothousing should be avoided on account
of security and visual pollution. Irrigated agriculture should be forbidden to
protect possible works underground; dry agriculture could be allowed on
condition that the works that might be unearthed during tilling be turned in to
the nearest Administrative Unit (District Managers and Museum Managers).
The greatest silhouette and
visual pollution problems for the Perge Antique City are created by the Aksu
Antbirlik Strand Factory, with its water reservoir, transformer and energy
transfer lines (the posts and the cables) (Figure 9).
Figure 9. ANTIQUE STADIUM AND AKSU ANTBIRLIK STRAND FACTORY, WITH ITS
WATER RESERVOIR, TRANSFORMER AND ENERGY TRANSFER LINES
Therefore, firstly the water
reservoir should be carried to another, visually ineffective area and be
rebuilt buried underground. The removal/transfer of the transformer and the
energy lines are also needful for the preservation of the quality of Perge (6).
This part (Koca Belen Hill)
has been designated III. Degree Archaeological Site during the preservation
plan studies. Visitors should be enabled to watch this extraordinary sight by
the creation of panoramic sight-watch terraces, seating places and observation
points, especially in the yard of the Teachers’ School and the parts of
the Strand Factory yards that face
Perge. The İyilik Belen Hill also provides a panoramic scene of Perge and the
Acropolis. This part has also been designated a I. Degree Archaeological Site
because of the existence of a possible Byzantine settlement. A great part of Perge lies
underground, unexplored (Figure 10).
Figure 10. PERGE ANTIQUE CITY TODAY
Especially, data and
documents related to the Byzantine Period are scant to the point of nonexistence.
Therefore, first priority archaeological excavations and researches should be
conducted in the Acropolis and its foothills,
and in the eastern and western necropolices.
The Museum Management of
Antalya and The Council of Preservation of Cultural and Natural Values of
Antalya should form a “Perge Preservation-Development Unit” to direct the
applications in Perge and to be able to support the Municipality of Aksu. The
Aksu Municipality should also form a “Department of Preservation and
Development of the Perge Archaeological Site”, which would especially be
related to controlling and directing the applications in the III. Degree Site,
and to the arrangement and maintenance of the entrance and resting points of
the Antique City.
Towards the goal of preserving
Perge, which is a World Architectural Heritage, and of the healthy application
of planning decisions, the applications by the Aksu Municipality should be
provided with financial resources, project support and advising services by the
Department of Preservation of Cultural and Natural Valuables of the Ministry of
Culture. An active “Perge Preservation
and Development Unit” should be formed within the Department itself.
These units would strive for
material and technical aid in the form of aids, loans, donations and the like
from domestic and international establishments and organisations related to
environment arrangements, maintenance, excavations and preservation for
scientific researches (UNESCO, ICCROM, the World Bank, TAÇ Foundation, Turing
Organisation etc.). Moreover, civilian society organisations such as banks, private sector establishments,
companies, groups and the like should be encouraged to support the work on the
preservation-aimed environmental arrangements by means of campaigns; a fund
should be formed to obtain the involvement and contributions of the people.
Incomes from museums and
ruins are gathered by the Rotating-Capital Management of the Ministry of
Culture, and 40% of museum incomes are given to the municipalities (7). The law
requires that the Municipality should be given a share in “museum entrance
fees”; the entrances to ruins are
excluded from the mentioned law coverage. The entrance fees to the Perge
Antique City should be given in part to the Aksu Municipality for the sole aims
of utilisation in the maintenance, repair and environmental arrangements.
Moreover, in the parts which are within the I. Degree Archaeological Site,
which is to be publicised, the III. Degree Archaeological Site, and the parts
to be arranged into the Antique City gates should be publicised according to
the “Exchange Directives” and the application should thus be hastened (8).
Some funds should be set
aside primarily from the budget of the Ministry of Culture for the arrangement
of the new entrance gates to the Perge Antique City. The Aksu Municipality
would financially and technically participate in this arrangement; an effective
application would be obtained with tool and personnel support during the work.
The Antalya Province Culture
Department is planning educational efforts in districts and villages on the
subject of “The Prevention of Smuggling and Damaging of Old Works.” The efforts
to awareness are being held in the villages and towns close to ruins and their
surroundings. The subject is being announced to the people of the region by
village leaders, elementary school students and teachers, and mosque imams; and
meetings are being held.
The awareness of preserving
the historical environment of the people of the settlements around the Perge
Antique Town should be nurtured, especially by the Aksu Municipality, by
supporting the efforts mentioned above by activities such as exhibitions,
contests, seminars, panels etc.
PEKMAN, A., 1989, “History of
Perge In the Light of Recent Excavations and Researches”, Premium Council of Atatürk
Culture, Language and History, Turkish History Council Publications, VII.
İDİL, V., 1992, “History of Antique City of Perge”, Perge Conservation Plan
Research Report, Akman Project Co., s. 27-39.
PEKAK, S., 1992, “Christianity (Byzantine) Period Monuments In Perge”, Perge Conservation Plan
Research Report, Akman Project Co., s. 40-51.
Antalya Master Plan Research Report (1/25000-1/5000 Scales), April
Planning and Project and Consulting Co., Ank.
Council of Antalya
Preservation of Historical and Natural Assets, A.K.T.K.K.K.07.00.1.1. Numbered
and 18.05.1992 Dated Official Paper.
TUNÇER, M., 1992, “Perge Conservation Plan Report”, Perge Conservation Plan
Research Report, Akman Project Co.
Ministry of Culture, 2252 Numbered Law.
08.02.1990 Dated and 20427 Numbered Governmental Paper, “Kesin İnşaat Yasağı
Getirilen Korunması Gerekli Taşınmaz Kültür ve Tabiat Varlıklarının Bulunduğu
Sit Alanlarındaki Taşınmaz Malların Hazineye Ait Taşınmaz Mallar İle Değiştirilmesi