Olympic Games organized in ancient temple in NW Turkey

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Add Date : 17.08.2011 11:52

Olympic Games organized in ancient temple in NW Turkey


Marble pedestals in the temple reveal the existence of sports
It has been revealed during excavations carried out in the ancient Apollon Smintheus Temple in the northwestern province of Çanakkale’s Ayvacık district that the Olympic Games had been organized in the Troas region.
The excavations that have been continuing for some 30 years in the region continued last month under the leadership of Professor Coşkun Özgünel and new historical, social and religious documents were discovered.
Speaking to the Anatolia news agency, team member Associate Professor Davut Kaplan from the Ondokuz Mayıs University said the existence of sports for 3,000 years was proved with both archaeological and written documents. “The most important among them is the athletic games practiced at grave yards to please the dead,” he said.
Kaplan said the goal of the sports practiced in a social area was commemoration while others were practiced for the gods.
“It is known that all these sports were not only regional but also universal. The universal development of sports depends on the existence of competition. But the real matter is material. Some types of sports had commercial aims as well as played a role in solving political and social matters.”
Kaplan said documents in the Greek language were seen in marble pedestals unearthed during the excavations.
“Along with 19 pedestals, we have also found nine pedestals, one of which is unwritten and one is broken. All these pedestals were part of a statue but we have not reached the statues yet. Considering the footprints on the pedestals, we can say that all statues had human figures. The names of sportsmen and their degrees are also written on the pedestals. The most important feature of these pedestals is that they show the existence of a comprehensive organization in the Troas region. We can say that they were international organizations in today’s sense. As long as the excavations continue, we will reveal more information about the sports games in the region at the time of the Roman Empire,” Kaplan said. ÇANAKKALE - Anatolia News Agency