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Smyrna Ancient City Izmir

Smyrna Ancient City Izmir
The ancient city of Smyrna was a central strategic point located on the Aegean coast of Anatolia and because of the valuable position of its port it offered easy defence with good connections inland helping Smyrna to rise in prominence.

There are two sites of this ancient city in modern Izmir, the first believed to have been established by local people and became important during the Archaic Period as one of the principal ancient Greek settlements in western Anatolia, and the second, whose foundations are associated with Alexander the Great, reached city proportions during the time of the Roman Empire, and the majority of what is seen today are what remains from a 2nd century AD earthquake.

Old Smyrna

Old Smyrna was the original settlement established around the 11th century BC, first as an Aeolian settlement and then taken over and developed by Ionians during the Archaic Period and the new Smyrna was moved into the old one around the 4th century BC.  The old Smyrna was on a small peninsula connected to the mainland by a narrow strip of land at the north-eastern corner of the inner Gulf of Izmir, located on the borders of a fertile plain at the foot of Mount Yamanlar where the earlier Anatolian settlement had commanded the gulf.

New Smyrna

At the same time new Smyrna was developing on the slopes of Mount Pagos (Kadifekale) and alongside the coastal strait directly below where, in the 18th century, a small bay had existed.

Izmir Agora Open Air Museum

The Bayraklı Höyüğü archaeological site is approximately 700m inland in the Tepekule neighbourhood of Bayrakli . At the site the centre of late Hellenistic and early Roman Smyrna today forms the large area of the İzmir Agora Open Air Museum and research has been on-going at the old Smyrna site since 1997, and since 2002 for new Smyrna, in collaboration between the İzmir Archaeology Museum and the Metropolitan Municipality of Izmir.

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