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Aphrodisias Excavations

Yapı Kredi Private Banking has long supported the excavations carried out at Aphrodisias, a city named after Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, and the efforts made by the Geyre Foundation to introduce future generations to this ancient city, famous for its sculptures, by putting Aphrodisias on the cultural and artistic map of the world. The support provided by our bank to the excavations and promotion of this ancient city has progressively increased since the last quarter of 2007. A special auction was organized at the Rahmi Koç Museum on January 17, 2008 within the scope of a project titled "Immortalize Your Name by Protecting an Ancient Marble Relief." The funds raised were used for the construction of a new structure called the "New Sebasteion Hall", where 80 authentic reliefs unearthed in Aphrodisias were put on display. Individuals who bought each of the eleven reliefs at the auction supported by Yapı Kredi Private Banking thus immortalized their names. The funds raised were used in the construction of the New Sebasteion Hall.

In addition to the existing Aphrodisias Museum located at the Karacasu district of Aydın, the New Sebasteion Reliefs – Sevgi Gönül Hall was opened on May 31, 2008 with the support of Yapı Kredi Private Banking and the Geyre Foundation. The groundbreaking for the 770 sqm hall took place in March 2007. The 80 reliefs unearthed during the excavations are put on display at the New Sebasteion Reliefs – Sevgi Gönül Hall, which was designed by Architect Cengiz Bektaş, in a manner compatible with the overall feel and look of the ancient city.

These matchless works of art created by the greatest masters of the period were also put on display at major exhibition organized by Yapı Kredi Cultural Activities, Arts and Publishing in Istanbul. Yapı Kredi Vedat Nedim Tör Museum also hosted an exhibition titled "Roman Portraits from Aphrodisias." A total of 52 spectacular works of art, 51 on loan from the collection of the Aphrodisias Museum and ones item from the collection of the Istanbul Archaeological Museum, were put on display at the exhibition. As a result of various activities carried out during the exhibition to raise awareness about the ancient city, Aphrodisias become more recognizable to the general public. The exhibition was open to all art enthusiasts between September 26, 2008 and January 25, 2009.

Moreover, our bank selected Aphrodisias as the theme for all of its promotional materials (organizer, calendar, etc.) for the year 2008, and used the materials for all of its communications throughout the year.

About the Aphrodisias

The ancient city of Aphrodisias is one of the most important archaeological sites of the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Located in the Meander Valley in the Aegean Region, it is within the borders of the village of Geyre in the Karasu district of Aydın and covers an area of 5.2 million sqm.

Archaeological finds indicate that Aphrodisias was first settled during the Chalcolithic Period (6,000 BC – 3,500 BC). Aphrodisias was designated as the capital of the Caria, a Roman province, during the third century AD and served as such for a century. It continued to be a center of attraction and maintained its dynamism until the 7th Century AD. Aphrodisias changed hands many times during the 11th and 12th centuries with the arrival of Seljuk and Ottoman Turks in Anatolia, after which it slowly lost its importance and urban character. After hosting many different civilizations over the centuries, the city was totally abandoned in the 14th Century.

Aphrodisias is at the center of numerous and priceless archaeological gems. Only a fraction of this ancient city has been unearthed through the excavations carried out to date and many matchless works of art remain buried in Aphrodisias, waiting to see the light of day.

Considered one of the most important sites from the Hellenistic and Roman periods, the ancient city of Aphrodisias has been uncovered with thorough excavations carried out by teams from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University since 1961, under the sponsorship of the Geyre Foundation (established in 1987) as an important cultural heritage to be handed over to future generations.

Photographs of the Event

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