Pitane Ancient City
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Findings obtained in the researches conducted in Pitane, long before the city’s Aiol migration, BC. It shows that it was founded in 3000 years. We learn from ancient sources that Pelasgs, the indigenous people of the region before the arrival of the Aiols, regained the city after the Aiol invasion and that the Greeks could take Pitane back only after the aid from Erythrai. However, we learn from mythological sources that the mythological Amazon Queen Myrina built cities in her name and in the name of her commanders Kyme, Gryne and Pitane.
Pitane also enters history with a proverb: “I am no different than Pitane”. Although we could not find much information about the early Pitane, it was intended to emphasize how unfortunate the Pitane was. So much so that the quirks that history and fate have brought to Pitane were written and sourced by Mitylene Historian Hellanikos in Lesbos; but the work has not survived. Apart from these events, we have no information about the Archaic Period of Pitane. But he joined the Delos Union, together with geographical cities such as Elaia, Gryneion and Myrina, with a low tax.
Although the amount of tax paid to the Delos Union gives an idea about the level of welfare of that city, Pitane, at least in BC. In the 3rd century, the lands under his rule were large and these lands were an important source of income. As we learned from the inscriptions, Pitane bought a land in the north of Edremit (Adramyettion) Bay, by paying a huge amount of 380 talent, and bought it from King Antiochus 1. In this purchase, we also learn that Pergamon rich Philetairos, who wants to establish good relations with neighboring cities and has a fortune of 9000 talents, has a support of 40 talents. Pitane, which came under the rule of the Pergamon Kingdom along with other Aiolis cities, does not appear on the history stage until the Mithridates Wars. When Mithridates is defeated by the Roman army under the direction of Fimbria, he escapes from his capital in Western Anatolia, Pergamon, and arrives in the nearby port city Pitane. Here, too, the siege of Mithridates escapes to the opposite shore by the ship to the city of Mytilene in Lesbos.
Apart from that, Pitane is also known thanks to the thinker / philosopher Arkesilaos. B.C. The dialecticist Arkesilaos, who headed Plato’s famous Academy in Athens in the 3rd century, tried to introduce that we could not make a definitive judgment for the solution of the philosophical question by discussing a problem from two different / opposite directions.
Strabon also mentioned that the city was famous for its bricks. Since the volcanic soil around Pitane is lighter than the water, it tells us that the bricks made in the city do not sink when they dry. Unfortunately, there is no data to prove this statement, which Plinius also participated in.
It is certain because of the public buildings such as the stadium and the theater where the city shined during the Roman Period. But our knowledge of the city’s Roman Period is almost nonexistent. In the Byzantine Period, we know that Pitane was a city affiliated to Ephesus (Ephesus) Metropolitan. Genoese Castle, the most important building in the city, shows that there was a settlement in Pitane in the Middle Ages.
Archaeologists A. Conze and W. Dorpfeld, who were working in the excavations of Bergama among the ancient cities of Izmir, made the first researches in Pitane Ancient City. Osman Hamdi Bey, who later made excavations in the city, was born in BC. It found containers that descended into the 2000s. Ekrem Akurgal, who came to Çandarlı and started excavations in Pitane in the 1960s after the discovery of the Archaic Kuros statue famous by the villagers in 1958, said “The richest Ancient Necropolis of Anatolia” for the Pitane necropolis. Despite this wealth of finds, little remains of Pitane.
Pitane was established in Çandarlı on the peninsula called Adal Mahallesi today. The circumference of the peninsula was surrounded by the First Age walls, the thickness of which was 2.5 meters, and the traces of which appear on the west side of the peninsula today. According to Strabon, the city had two harbors.
The port in the west was surrounded by a breakwater under the sea now. It was found that the hitch was extended to an island close to the shore and ended with a tower at this point. George E. Bean, who conducts research in the region, mentions that this structure may not be needed because it is a natural protection against the harshest blowing winds.
No public structure of the Pitane Ancient City has survived to the present day. Only on the east of the peninsula is the location of the bay of the theater and the location of the stadium on the nose to the south of the peninsula is obvious. It is understood that ancient building foundations were used in the foundations of the medieval fortress, which is called Genoese Castle today. In addition, the castle walls were built with spolia stones taken from the Era buildings. The castle, which is different from its original structure, was built by Andreola Domanica Cattaneo, who is also the founder of Yeni Foça and the owner of alum mines in the region, in the 13th century for the safety of Çandarlı and the gulf. The castle was also used for a long time by the Genoese nobleman, Francesco Gattilusio, and his family. The fortress is currently included in the list by UNESCO, which has included important Genoese castles on the World Heritage Temporary List.