The site of Midas City or Midas Şehri, in Turkish, is known for its abundance of rock-cut tombs and monuments that date from the period of the Phrygians. Midas City is located some ninety kilometers to the southeast of Eskişehir, in the vicinity of the town of Çifteler.
HISTORY OF MIDAS CITY
The site is known to have flourished in earlier times from the remains of ceramics that date to prehistoric man, but it prospered and flourished during the 8th and 7th centuries B.C., when the Phrygians were occupying the area, it is thought that the Phrygian settlement was left in ruins toward the end of the 7th century, around the time of the Persion invasions. The Phrygians rebuilt the town sometime during the beginning of the 6th century. This second city lived on until the period of the Romans in the 3rd century A.D., when it was abandoned. One of the rock-cut tombs, of which there are many at the site, was mistakenly thought to be the tomb of King Midas.
RUINS OF MIDAS CITY
The ancient city was composed of two towns, a lower one which stretched into the surrounding countryside and an upper town, the acropolis. The acropolis was a large affair measuring soma two hundred by six hundred meters. Around the upper town was a wall that was dotted with towers, but only the foundations remaip today. Water for the acropolis was apparently taken from the large grotto that lies to the east of this area. Stairs and underground passages lead down to the source of a spring. In this corner at the bottom of the acropolis is a hollowed-out basin equipped with a stairway that must have served the lower town for water.
The monument long thought to be the tamb of Midas is found to the northwest of the acropolis. The building carries several Phrygian inscriptions of which one refers to the mythical mother of King Midas, the Anatolian fertility goddess Cybele. A decorative door was carved into the monument at the level of the ground. This^rock-cut monument was likely used In the Phrygian religious cult. It dates to the 6th century B.C. A statue of Cybele is thought to liave been installed in the niche of the monument. The large affair was mistakenly Identified as the tomb of Midas because of the word Midai that is carved in the inscription at the upper left of the monument. This refers to the fertility goddess Cybele.
Ail of the Phrygian monuments and remains at Midas City are from the 6th century B.C. Among some of the others to be seen at the site are various tombs and inscriptions, an aitar, a throne cut out of the rock, a fountain and two sepulchral chambers. Also found here are several reliefs that date from the 8th century B.C., from the Neo-Hittite period. The rock-cut throne is located on top of the acropolis; a statue of the fertility goddess was placed on the throne during religious ceremonies, it measures nearly four meters long and has an inscription in the Phrygian language. Two exceptional rock-cut tombs along the same lines as the Midas Monument are the Küçük Yazılıkaya and the Maltaş. Another, called the Kink Arsiantaş or Broken Lion Monument, shows a Phrygian warrior in full battle attire slaying the mythical Gorgon monster. No longer seen is another warrior engaged in a similar pursuit on the left side of the monument. This part has since collapsed. A cast of the missing section can be seen at the archaeological museum in Ankara. It lies face-down at the foot of the monument in Midas City, It is thought that this monument dates to 540-530 B.C., from the dress of the warriors. The lion is on the lateral side