Laodikeia Asopos (Gümüşçay) Bridge
Celal Şimşek1, Barış Yener2, Yasemin İnceelgil3
1Pamukkale Üniversitesi, İnsan ve Toplum Bilimleri Fakültesi, Arkeoloji Bölümü, Denizli/ TÜRKİYE
2Pamukkale Üniversitesi, İnsan ve Toplum Bilimleri Fakültesi, Arkeoloji Bölümü, Denizli/ TÜRKİYE
3Pamukkale Üniversitesi, İnsan ve Toplum Bilimleri Fakültesi, Arkeoloji Bölümü, Denizli/ TÜRKİYE
Keywords: Laodikeia, Phrygia, Lykos, Roman, Asopos, Bridge, Architecture.
The ancient city of Laodikeia, is located 6 km to the north of Denizli city centre and surrounded with the former villages, now metropolitan area neighbourhoods Eskihisar, Goncalı and Bozburun. The city of Laodikeia in the fertile plain of Lycus, lies on top of a plateau framed with the rivers of Lykos (Çürüksu) on the northeast, Asopos (Gümüşçay, or Goncalı Deresi) to the northwest, and Kadmos (Gökpınar) to the southeast. The Hellenistic city was founded by the Seleucid King Antiochus II in the name of his wife Laodike. During the Roman Imperial Period, the city grew even more with the impact of its strategic importance and got famous especially in wool and textile trade. Due to being located at the crossroads of ancient routes, Laodikeia was the center of the region in terms of military, administrative and economic perspectives. Located in the west of Laodikeia city center, the Ephesus Gate and the road extending to the west over the Asopos River (Gümüşçay-Goncalı Stream), which connects directly to the east, was called the “Southern Highway” or “Eastern Main Road”. This route has a large trade volume, that includes Laodikeia. Due to the fact that Laodikeia is located at the center of important routes and especially due its location that provides the east-west connection, a bridge was built on the Asopos (Gümüşçay) river, which is a natural obstacle to the west of the city. The Asopos bridge, was built on the Asopos (Gümüşçay) river in the east-west direction in the valley and was made of cut travertine blocks to connect the two sides of the valley. Laodikeia Asopos (Gümüşçay) Roman Bridge should be considered as one of the most important examples of Roman engineering and Anatolian Roman Road network, considering the architectural features it displays. When all the data are evaluated in general, it is considered appropriate that the Asopos bridge was built between the end of the 1st century AD and the first quarter of the 2nd century.