According to Turkish officials, a 2,000-year old ancient Roman bath located in Central Anatolian province of Yozgat is expected to be ‘revived’ for tourists via a reconstruction project that would take a few years. Known as the Basilica Therma, the bath is actually complemented by an archaeologically rich site comprising a host of impressive statues and Christianity motifs from the Roman era.
Researchers are continuing their excavations at the site, with their discoveries also pertaining to various sized pools in Yozgat’s Sarikaya district, including a semi-Olympic one. Ömer Açıkel, the mayor of Sarikaya, mentioned how the waters of these pools with their tepid temperatures of 48-49 degrees Centigrade (approximately 118 degrees Fahrenheit), showcases their healing virtues when it comes to common health issues. Suffice it to say, the local popularity of the historical baths might be translated to a commercial success with the aid of the revival project.
As for the aforementioned statues in question, archaeologists have identified the depictions of various goddesses from both Greek and Roman mythologies, with most of the specimens dating back to 2nd century AD. Among them of particular interest is the carving of a snake-like figure that represented the goddess of health – possibly Hygieia, the daughter of the god of medicine, Asclepius.
In contrast to pagan mythological depictions, researchers have also found a large Baptismal font interlaced with a cross. This suggests that the proximate area was probably used an early Christian religious center, circa 2nd century AD. Additionally, archaeologists also discovered a bevy of several written documents from the site, though further analysis is required to discern their origins.
Lastly, as for the revival project of Basilica Therma, the mayor had assured that the local authorities would collaborate with archaeologists, in a bid to make the refurbished archaeological site accessible to tourists. In fact, preliminary works had already started six years ago, and are expected to be completed within a space of few years.