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The Agora

the agoraAgora is an ancient market place located in the district known as Narnazgah or Tilkilik on the skirts of Kadifekale. Constructed during the rule of Alexander the Great, the Agora is today mostly in ruins. Agora was devastated for many times by earthquakes and rebuilt several times. The last was in 178 A.D. by the wife of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, Faustina.

The agora was a meeting place for commercial, political, and religious activities for the local people. It was surrounded mostly by state buildings on a rectangular plan with a large central courtyard and a covered stoa around it. During the excavations northern and western stoas have been discovered including their basements, and a large 165 x 28 m basilica has been found on the northern stoa. One of the main streets of Smyrna city was cutting through the agora dividing it in two equal parts, and there were entrance gates at both ends. The excavation works are still ongoing at the agora for the basilica and a part of the eastern stoa. The agora once had a large altar dedicated to Zeus in the center. The altar is now gone, but statues of Poseidon and of Demeter believed to have come from the altar are on display in the Archaeological Museum.

There are visible at the site are various capitals, remnants of three of the four main gates, some recognizable stalls, architectural fragments bearing medieval coats of arms and a stone slab that may have been used as a gaming board.

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