By Bilal Altinok and Ibrahim Erbay
BURDUR, Türkiye (AA) – A monumental fountain dating back some 2,000 years will start flowing with fresh water again thanks to the restoration project of an ancient city in southwestern Türkiye.
After four months of dedicated restoration work by a Turkish excavation team, the fountain in the ancient city of Kibyra in Golhisar, Burdur will come back to life, after a similar project on the Antonines Fountain in the ancient city of Sagalassos, also found in Burdur.
The restoration of the fountain with two pools, including over 150 original architectural fragments found among the ruins on the third terrace of the city and 24 imitation blocks produced from the original type of stone, was completed with contributions from the Burdur Governorship with an expert team of 17 people, including archaeologists, restorers, and architects.
Visitors to Kibyra, known as the "city of Gladiators" on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List, can reach the fountain by walking along a stone step path whose restoration has already been completed.
Sukru Ozudogru, an archaeologist at Mehmet Akif Ersoy University and head of the ancient city’s dig team, told Anadolu Agency that Türkiye boasts two large ancient monumental fountains that have been restored, and both of them are in Burdur.
The colossal fountain which was built in 23 BC, with a diameter of 15 meters (50 feet) and towers 8 meters high (over 26.2 feet), was used in Kibyra for some 600-700 years, he said.
- Water of ancient times
Explaining that fresh drinkable water will again flow from the fountain through the work they have done, Ozudogru said Kibyra will be the second ancient city in Türkiye after Sagalassos to have a fountain with water flowing through it.
"We want to bring water from the ancient spring this May and restore the fountain to its original function,” he emphasized.
"Just like in ancient times, water will flow into the pool from the mouths of the lion and panther statues in the lion's hide where the mythological hero Hurcules laid down, and the panther's hide where the god of wine Dionysus lay down," he added.
*Writing by Merve Berker