Thursday, 1 August 2013

Excavation in Epiphanea, Antioch

The Seleucid king Antiochus IV Epiphanes (d. 164 BCE), who is known for his persecution of the Jews, extended the original city of Antioch up the slopes of mount Silpius and called this new quarter Epiphanea after his own epithet.
In modern Antakya it has been decided to make an aerial cableway or telpherage from the city centre to the top of Mount Silpius. This naturally necessitates excavation for anchoring the towers. And excavation in Antakya is a hazardous business as old Antioch is buried just under the surface.
When the digging in Epiphanea started some months ago, it became clear that there was something underneath. According to what I was told the thing they found is an old Roman bath.
Here are some pictures from the site.
A view towards the south.
Notice the towers of the cableway.

Towards the east.
The ruins of the citadel are on the top of the mountain in the centre.
Notice the pipes in the walls.