Aphrodisias or Aphrodisias (Greek: Ἀφροδισιάς romanization: Aphrodisiás) is the common name of many ancient cities dedicated to the Goddess Aphrodite. The most famous of the cities called Aphrodisias (or Aphrodisias) was in the southwestern part of Anatolia, in the ancient Caria region, where the Geyre district of today’s Karacasu district is located. After the archaeological excavations started, Geyre was moved.
Included in the World Heritage Tentative List by UNESCO in 2009 Aphrodisias was registered as a World Heritage Site in 2017.
Founded in the 5th century BC, the city developed during the Roman Empire, became an important art center, especially sculpture, between the 1st century BC and the 5th century AD, and became famous with the temple Aphrodite and the ceremonies held in the name of Aphrodite.
The temple built for Aphrodite, the goddess of the city, is the oldest marble building in the city. It was important that the boundaries of the sanctuary (temenos) belonging to the temple were determined due to the right of refuge in this area. With the inscriptions around the temple, it is revealed that this concession was given first by Julius Caesar and his successor, and then by the Roman Emperor Augustus.
The names of the distinguished local families who helped in the construction of the marble temple, which was completed in the early 1st century AD, were written on the pillars, G. Julius Zoilos, who was considered to be the founder of the temple, was honored with the title of Aphrodite priest during his lifetime.
The city of Aphrodisias has been severely affected by many earthquakes throughout its history due to its location in the earthquake zone. It is known that there were big earthquakes especially in the 4th century and the 7th century. The 4th-century earthquake also changed the water flow channels in the location of Aphrodisias and made some parts of the city suitable for flooding. Evidence of the evacuation system, which seems to have been built with the aim of solving the problem of floods and with urgency, can still be seen today. After the earthquake in the 7th century, Aphrodisias never recovered fully and fell into disrepair. Over time, the ruins were partially covered by the Geyre village area. At the beginning of the 20th century, a part of the village of Geyre was emptied due to an earthquake, and the remains under the evacuated area were revealed. In the 1960s, Geyre moved to its current location and became a town, considering the possibility of an earthquake.
Since the 7th century, the city abandoned the name Aphrodisias, which was associated with paganism, and was named Stavropolis (the city of the Cross) with the influence of Christianity. During the Byzantine Empire, the region began to be called Caria (although it was located more inland compared to ancient Caria). As the Turks established sovereignty in the region in 1260, the name Caria was reflected in Turkish as Geyre.