Archeogeophysical (GPR) Studies At The Turkey-Manisa-Akhisar Thyateira Ancient City Archeological Excavation Site (K.Avcı, F.Ahmet Yüksel, Nihan Hoşkan, E.Akdeniz), Enviromental and Engineering Geophysical Society, March 16-20 Boston.
The ancient city of Thyateira, one of the economic centers along the Northern Aegean, is located within the Manisa Province of Turkey, at the township of Akhisar. Especially starting from the 18th century, the city became a major hub for travelers that are mainly working in the area of history of Christianity, and also partly in the fields of archeology and epigraphy. One of the reasons that make Thyateira, along with six other settlements in Western Anatolia (Ephesos, Smyrna, Pergamon, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodikeia), differ and stand out from its modern counterparts is that it was home to one of the initial seven churches mentioned in the Bible (Acts 16/11–15, Revelation 2/18–29).
The oldest written evidence mentioning about the ancient city of Thyateira dates back to the 3rd century B.C. In various texts, Thyateira was called under different names such as Pelopia, Semiramis, and Euhippa. Although it has been suggested that the Seleucid King Seleucus I named the city after being informed of the birth of his daughter (Thygater means daughter in Greek), it is also likely that the name of the city comes from the Lydian word “teira” which means “fortress” or “town”. This takes the history of the city back to the Early Iron Age.
The earthquakes that occurred at or nearby Thyateira during the Roman Era (25/24 B.C. and 178/179 A.D.) caused significant damage to the city itself. The city was then rebuilt with the help of emperors Tiberius and Hadrianus and the majority of the apparent construction and repair work were done at those times.
To date, Thyateira has been utilized as a necropolis and an acropolis area. Within the limits of the ancient city, the Collonaded road, the remains of the church with apsidal and rectangular plan, as well as the remains of the walls, arches, and columns damaged by the earthquakes are still widely preserved.