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Sillyon

antalya_SillyonOn the hill behind Asar Village, 22 km to the east of Antalya, lie the remains of the ancient city of Sillyon. It is understood that its name, in the original Luwian, used to be “Swilwana”, meaning “place with a beautiful pass”. Indeed, the place where the ancient city was located is the flatland, between the sea and the Taurus mountains, with the most striking natural beauty in the area. Sillyon, which was built as an acropolis city on top of Asar Hill by the Etruscan/Luwian clans in around 3000 B.C., experienced the same historical process as the other Pamphylian cities. Its population increased upon the participation of those returning from the Trojan War during the 12th century B.C. and it made its progress during the Pax Romana period and was adorned with a wide variety of buildings. It became the centre of Christianity, subordinated to Perge during the Byzantine epoch, and was set on fire and destroyed by the Arabs who reached to the southern shores of Anatolia during the 7th century A.D.

The Turkomans who came to the area towards the end of the 11th century A.D. established a new settlement called Asar Village/ Tepe Village on the southern hillside of the Acropolis hill where the remains of the city existed. The most striking of the city’s remains are the southwest facing castle entrance gate and city walls of the Acropolis.Sillyon The walls, of which the foundations were laid with Cyclopean stones, were subsequently reinforced with quadrangular block stones. There are various gates on the walls. The ground is paved with stone blocks from the entrance gate up to the city centre and the marks of carriage wheels are visible on them even today.

To the north of the walls there is a single-domed small mosque. To the east of the mosque a colonnaded street lined with shops and 3 buildings belonging to the statesmen can be seen. On the entrance gate of the buildings are some remarkable inscriptions declaring the official trading laws of the city in the Luwian language.To the south west of the remains are two fountains and buildings, which were originally court buildings but were converted into a basilica during the Byzantine epoch. To the east the remains of the side wall of a theatre, which has completely disappeared, are visible.

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