The final destination of the Milliyet Archaeology and İş Sanat Cultural Heritage Encounters was the ancient city of Nysa in the Sultanhisar district of Aydın. The trip was crowned with the play “Ben Anadolu” (I am Anatolia), staged at the Nysa theater as part of the İş Sanat Ancient Stage.
Milliyet Archaeology magazine continues its efforts to promote cultural heritage and develop awareness for its preservation. With 26 issues behind it, the magazine continues its collaboration with İş Sanat and organizes events called “Cultural Heritage Encounters.” The last stop of the Milliyet Archaeology and İş Sanat Cultural Heritage Encounters, previously held in Patara, Stratonikeia, Teos, Zeugma, and Kaman, was the ancient city of Nysa in the Sultanhisar district of Aydın.
During the event held on Saturday, July 8th, participants listened to Dr. Serdar Hakan Öztaner, the excavation director, as he talked about the historical Nysa Ancient City that dates back to the 3rd century BC and flourished during the Roman period. Öztaner emphasized that according to mythology, Nysa was believed to be the place where Hermes entrusted the baby Dionysus to the nymphs of Mount Nysa and where Dionysus grew up. He also mentioned the belief that Hades emerged from the divided Nysa Plain and kidnapped Persephone.
The event was crowned in the evening with the play “Ben Anadolu” staged at the İş Sanat Ancient Stage in the Nysa theater. The play, which narrated the stories of influential women in Anatolian history through Ayça Bingöl’s performance, was watched by approximately 2,000 people.
Zuhal Üreten, the General Manager of İş Sanat, expressed that İş Bankası has provided long-term support to various archaeological excavation works with the aim of uncovering Anatolia’s unique archaeological assets, reintegrating them into world cultural heritage, preserving them for future generations, and enabling scientific research that sheds light on both the past and the present. Üreten mentioned that they have sponsored the excavations of Zeugma, Patara, Teos, Nysa, and Stratonikeia ancient cities and have provided various support to the ongoing surface research conducted by the Japanese Anatolian Archaeology Institute in Kaman and Yesemek. Üreten emphasized the significance of the Cultural Heritage Encounters they carried out together with Milliyet Arkeoloji, stating that these activities that bring together archaeology and art make them very happy.
Excavation Director Öztaner, in his evaluation of the event, stated, “We had a very productive investigation and realization with İş Sanat and Milliyet Arkeoloji. During the tour, where we provided information about the objectives and research questions of the scientific excavations we conducted in Nysa, we also discussed the architectural and technical features of the significant structures in the city, providing a general assessment.” Öztaner invited all Milliyet Arkeoloji readers to Nysa, which is situated on the slopes of Messogis in the north of Menderes, a city of education and culture where Strabo received his education and a prime example of Roman architectural engineering.
Regarding the play “Ben Anadolu” staged at the Nysa theater, Öztaner said, “Our esteemed artist Ayça Bingöl beautifully portrayed ‘Ben Anadolu’ in front of Nysa’s 1,800-year-old stage. She gave us an unforgettable, wonderful evening in Nysa. It was a highly impressive and beautiful night. Such events are important in terms of preserving our cultural heritage and increasing awareness in this regard.”
Menderes Özel, the Publishing Director of Milliyet Arkeoloji, also expressed his thoughts on the event, stating, “We embarked on a time journey in Nysa that deeply affected us. While watching ‘Ben Anadolu’ at the magnificent theater that hosts precious examples of Roman architectural engineering, we leaned towards looking through the eyes, thinking with the mind, and feeling with the soul of a resident of Nysa. As we strolled through the Agora, the voices of peddlers and merchants echoed in our ears. This unforgettable experience, guided by Professor Hakan, further strengthened our awareness of cultural heritage.”