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Yunus Emre Institute Hosts Second Edition Of The Ancient Wonders Lecture Series on Patara

Washington D.C. - On Friday February 12th, 2021 over 100 guests arrived in a virtual room to hear about groundbreaking research in Turkish archaeology. Dr. Erkan Dündar, professor at Akdeniz University, gave an important lecture on the ancient city of Patara which is located in the Antalya province. Dr. Dündar is considered a renowned expert on underwater archaeology and ceramics, and he has given talks on the archaeology of Patara around the world.

The city of Patara has a fascinating history dating back to the Bronze Age and was occupied as a settlement for several centuries until it was abandoned under the Byzantine Empire. Though Dr. Dündar specifically works with the ceramic artifacts that have been found at the site, he provided a general overview of the site and some of the most significant sections of the archaeological site. For example, he highlighted the significance of the Roman theater that was built after it was under Roman control. He also shed light on the importance of the harbor and Tepecik hill, which is where the Bronze age site is located. To end his presentation, Dr. Dündar went over some of the important residents of the Patara like St. Nicholas, who was born there in 270 AD, and what life would have been like for its residents hundreds of years ago.

The attendees were very curious about the Patara site and asked Dr. Dündar many questions during the Q&A session about geography, various inscriptions, and future plans for reconstructing important buildings. For example, one guest asked about the feasibility of rebuilding and reopening the abandoned harbor and Dr. Dündar was able to explain that doing so was impossible due to the huge amount of work that would take and damage it would do to the nature reserve around Patara. Another guest asked about the reason Viking artifacts were found at the site and they learned how the Byzantine rulers would hire Viking warriors for their armies. Dr. Dündar received glowing feedback from the audience as people left the virtual meeting room.

Yunus Emre Institute is a Turkish cultural center located in Washington, D.C. and around the world. The institute hosts events and programs that educate the public about Turkey’s culture, history, and language. For more information about the institute’s mission or online programs, please email or follow @yeewdc on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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