For the affordable price of $8.4 million, the ancient Greek city of Bargylia, which dates back to the fifth century B.C., can be yours. Bargylia is near Güllük Bay on the northern coast of the Bodrum peninsula.
The area, which does not allow construction since its a first-degree archaeological site, reportedly includes an underground amphitheater belonging to the city temple, a Roman bath and a Byzantine necropolis.
The city once featured a tomb monument near the Bargylia harbor in honor of Scylla, a mythological Greek sea monster. The structure dates back to the Hellenistic period, between 200 BC and 150 BC. The monument remains are on display at the British Museum.
The ruins of a defensive wall and a palaestra, a wrestling school in ancient Greece and Rome, also lies on the site. In the 1950s, Freya Stark, a British-Italian travel writer, arrived in Bargylia and recorded the site’s extensive history.
Local archaeologists are hoping the Culture and Tourism Ministry will purchase the ancient city, which lies on 330 decares of land, to protect its future.
Experts are also worried a potential buyer may build on the historic site. According to shareholder Hüseyin Üçpınar, 87, the city has been for sale for years. In 2015, Bargylia was listed at $5 million.
"I am unable to protest this area alone. The (Turkish) state should do something about it and protect this site," added Üçpınar.
According to Binnur Çelebi, a senior member of the Archaeologists Association, “Unfortunately, due to an insufficient budget, archaeological sites are only expropriated during excavations or urban projects. Private ownership of those sites is obstructing archaeological work. However, the person or persons who acquire those sites can absolutely not conduct any construction activities.”
The city has also been the target of treasure hunters. “We hear the sounds of treasure hunters at night, but we cannot do anything out of fear,” said a local.
The city was reportedly founded by Bellerophon, a mythological Greek hero to honor his companion Bargylos, who was killed by the winged horse Pegasus. The Temple of Artemis Cindyas is also near Bargylia. According to the Greek geographer and philosopher Strabo, rain fell around the temple but never on it. The coinage of Bargylia features Artemis Cindyas and Pegasus.
The city has been described as “a first degree archaeological site, facing the Bird Heaven Lake near the Bogazici Village, with full sea and lake view.” It is located 30 kilometers off Bodrum on the Carian coast between Iasos and Myndus, in Turkey.
It is not clear why Bargylia is privately-owned. Though given the population exchange between Greece and Turkey in the 1920's after the fall of the Ottoman empire, the ancient city may have been overtaken by private interests.
As a result of the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, Greece and the Republic of Turkey uprooted two million people in a extensive population exchange, which has had a lasting effect on the Orthodox Christian and Muslim populations.
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