Sardis (Lydia) 431 Sart - Σάρδις

Σάρδις - Sardis, important Archaic to Late Antique polis at Sart in Lydia (Aegean Turkey)

Modern description Archaeological Atlas of the Aegean

Architectural remains associated with the Late Mycenaean period (13th-12th century BC) and local pottery.
Initially capital of the kingdom of Lydia and from the mid-6th century BC administrative centre of the Persian empire in Asia Minor (the terminus of the royal road from Susa). It was Hellenized mainly after its conquest by Alexander the Great in 334 BC. To the E of the river Pactolus (Paktolos) are ruins of the gymnasium, the stadium, the Hellenistic theatre and the Lydian agora (7th-4th century BC). The city's main street was paved and lined either side by stoas and shops. Hellenistic fortifications on the acropolis. The most significant monument is the Ionic temple of Artemis-Cybele (c. 300 BC). The temple was most probably designed by the architect Hermogenes between 175 and 150 BC, but was not completed until the mid-2nd century AD. On the outskirts of Sardis, at Bin Tepe, are the tumuli of the Lydian kings (7th-6th century BC), the largest of which is mentioned by Herodotus as the tumulus of Alyattes.
Sardis flourished in the Early Byzantine period and was a political and ecclesiastical centre as well as a military base. The city extended beyond the defensive wall of the late 3rd century AD. In the Early Christian period interventions were made to the Roman gymnasium, the S hall of which was converted into a synagogue (4th century), which was later dedicated for Christian worship. Ruins of a large domed basilica (6th century), shops built on to the south façade of the gymnasium and houses (4th-6th century BC) have been excavated. Near the SE corner of the temple of Artemis ruins of a small 4th-century church. A luxurious residence S of the gymnasium (4th century). Some house walls have painted decoration of crosses. Early Christian grave of Chrysanthios with wall-paintings (late 4th century).


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