Çanakkale Alexandria Troas Archaeological Site
Alexandria Troas Ancient City is located in Kestanbolluk within the boundaries of Dalyan Village in the Ezine District. It was founded in 310 B.C by Antigonos Monophtalmos, one of the commanders of Alexander the Great, as the city of "Antigoia" and after the death of Alexander the Great, its name was changed by Lysmimakhos to "Alexandria Troas", meaning Alexander's city in Troas.
In the city of Alexandria Troas, when the Roman Emperor Hadrianus (117–138 A.D) came, the construction activities intensified again. During this period, as a Roman policy, many cities in Anatolia were provided with financial assistance and reconstruction activities were accelerated. The second protector of Colonia Augusta Troas is Emperor Hadrian. In an inscription dating to 132 A.D found in Hadrian's Gymnasium in Athens, the Troassians of Alexandria honor Emperor Hadrian as the restorer of their colony. It is known that aqueducts and Herodes Atticus Bath, which can be considered high in cost, were built during this period.
The city is an important settlement with its completely planned temples, small bath, stadium, fountain, stone-paved street, theater and waterway, and port. One of the structures that have survived to the present day in the city is the "Herodes Atticus Gymnasium". It is important because it is one of the largest gymnasiums in Anatolia.
Alexandria Troas maintained its importance during the Christian Period, especially it became one of the Early Christian Centers. It is known that in the A.D 50s, St. Paulus visited Alexandria Troas during his missions and went on a sea voyage to Macedonia. St. Paulus stayed in Alexandria Troas for seven days during which time he explained Christianity to the public and gathered supporters for himself. From this point of view, the city also has the property of being a pilgrimage center for Christians. The names of three local bishops who lived in the city in the 4th and 5th centuries A.D are mentioned in the records.
The city occupies an area of 390 hectares according to the drawn plan, and fortification walls with a length of 8 km could be traced. Studies have shown that the Ancient City of Alexandria Troas is one of the largest cities in Anatolia. Excavations are still under the presidency of Erhan ÖZTEPE from Ankara University.
Apollo Smintheion of the Dardanelles
The Apollon Smintheus Sanctuary (Smintheion), located in the town of Gülpınar, Ayvacık, Çanakkale, bears traces of the settlement of the Chalcolithic period, as well as the Hellenistic and Roman period building remains, and offers new archaeological data for the cultural history of the region and western Anatolia.
The sanctuary of Apollo Smintheion is the second most important sanctuary of Troas after the temple of Athena in the city of Troy. The importance of the sanctuary is due to the fact that it is the only example of a mouse icon among the known Apollo cults in Anatolia. Etymologically, Apollo Smintheus means” Lord of the Mice". Apollo Smintheus appears in the region of Troas as a god who protects farmers from mice. It is known that the origin of the mouse cult goes back to Crete. We learn from ancient sources that this cult was brought by those who migrated from Crete to Anatolia in 2000 B.C.
The most important structure of the Apollon Smintheion sanctuary is the Temple of Apollon Smintheus, and the temple built in the Ionic style is dated to 150 B.C. The most remarkable thing about the temple of Apollo Smintheus is the reliefs that take their subject from the Trojan War described in Homer's Iliad epic. The temple, decorated with relief friezes on the theme of the Iliad, is a singular example of this feature. We can follow the narrative of the Iliad in parts of the temple's swells. Only 24 meters of the 120-meter-long reliefs have been unearthed now, and this temple, located near the ancient cities of Hamaksitos and Khryse, maintains its importance in the world of archeology with its unique architectural style in the Hellenistic Age western Anatolian architectural art and its original plastic works.
During his excavations, which have been carried out since 1980 under the direction of Coşkun Özgünel, many structures such as the bath, residences, and, the sacred street related to the sanctuary were unearthed, as well as the temple. The Smintheion excavations have also focused on the Chalcolithic period settlement, whose existence was known here since 2004. The Chalcolithic Smintheion settlement, which is understood to have been inhabited between 5200 and 4800 B.C according to archeometry dating, represents a period that characterizes the Troas region before Troy.
There is also a small museum, where the temple friezes can be seen, in the area where excavations continue, which shed light on history today. Restoration works of the temple are also continuing, and a part of it has been raised to show its architectural feature.