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Roman spa undergoes burial ahead of flooding

Workers in Turkey have been burying the ancient Roman bath complex of Allanoi in preparation for the site being flooded by a damn resevoir.

The work now underway is an effort to preserve the complex for future generations, before officials allow water to accumulate in the reservoir for the Yorganli dam before the end of the year.

As archaeologists — denied entry to the site — mourn the loss of a significant treasure, workers dump wheelbarrows of sand over the foundations of the hospital of Galen, a prominent Roman physician born in the 2nd century AD in the nearby city of Pergamon, or modern-day Bergama.

Soon the thermal bath — with its five metre-high (17 feet-high) walls and a pool still powered by a hot spring — will disappear under the sand, after being covered with a pinkish protective coating, along with buildings looking out over a columned courtyard, rooms covered with mosaics and paved walkways.

It is a sad sight for Professor Ahmet Yaras who excavated Allianoi for nine years and who says 80 percent of the site has yet to see the daylight.

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2 thoughts on “Roman spa undergoes burial ahead of flooding

  1. I love stories that like this. Not for the loss of archeological grounds, rather the fact that a story talks about Ancient Rome in Turkey. This helps students understand the concept of where civilizations were – in present time. Anyone know of any good maps of the extent of the Roman Civilization?

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