Archaeological Discovery in Iznik
During excavations at the Roman Theater, which was known to be built in the second century in the Iznik (Niceae) district of Bursa, antic pots dating back to the 6th century BC have been found. Head of the Excavation Committee Assoc. Dr. Aygün Ekin Meriç emphasized that this shows the existence of the life here before the theater was built.
The head of the excavations, Aygün Ekin Meriç, an archaeology professor at Dokuz Eylül University, said they found traces of life dating back to the 6th century B.C. in the field of the 2nd-century A.D. theater, which was originally a three-story one and not two like previously thought.
İznik is on the UNESCO World Heritage Site Tentative List, but officials are in intense efforts to carry it to the main list.
Founded in 316 B.C. by Antigonius Monophthalmos, one of the commanders of the Macedonian King Alexander the Great, İznik still carries the traces of Bithynia, Rome, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman civilizations in almost every corner.
The Roman theater, whose excavations the Bursa Metropolitan Municipality is sponsoring, is one of the most magnificent structures of Anatolia.
The theater, which is the only example in Turkey in terms of its architecture, was built by historian and writer Plinius, the governor of Bithynia at the time of the Roman Emperor Trajan in the 2nd century.
Having hosted gladiator fights for some time, the theater was used as a religious area after a ban on theaters after Christianity.
The theater received damage during big earthquakes in the years 358, 362 and 368. It was later restored, but was damaged again during a war in İznik. Its pieces were used for the reinforcement of the city walls.
The excavations in the İznik Theater started in 1980 by Bursa Museum official Bedri Yalman and continued until 2006, working on caveae—steps where viewers sit in ancient theaters—vaulted galleries and the front side of the stage.