Ruins Of Gordion

During the time that Gordion served as the capita! of the Phrygian kingdom, it consisted of a fortified administrative center containing the palace of the king, workshops, a market, and barracks for a garrison. The poiace stood within its own enclosure inside the circuit of the city wall. It was made up of a number of separate buildings used for various purposes and all built on the megaron plan. The great service buildings at the southern end of the site housed the palace servants and their work areas. Most of the palace complex was destroyed in a great fire possibly set by the invading Cimmerians.

The burial places and tumuli of Gordion occupied the higher ground, mostly to the east of the river plain. Common people from the Early Bronze Age through Roman times were buried in plain cist graves or in plthol. The wealthy and members of the royal family in Phrygian times were placed in chambers constructed of wood, over which mounds of earth were heaped. The largest tumulus, today rising to a height of more than fifty meters, must once have been approximately seventy meters in height, all of clay brought from elsewhere and    artificially heaped over    the burial    chamber.

The excavations at Gordion  were started in    1901, and    they are still continuing today. A monumental gateway, a great number  of houses  used by royalty as well as  houses   of lesser importance, and    the city fortifications have been unearthed at the site. The Phrygian gateway stands at a height of nine meters and was constructed of limestone near the end of the 8th century B.C. The city was approached by means of a lon{j, narrow corridor. Two towers that flanK the gateway each possess o courtyard that opens to the city. It Is thought that these served as barracks areas for the king’s garrisons whfch were housed in wooden buildings here. The central section of the mound contains the palace proper. It consisted of an outer and inner courtyard which were walled off to isolate the royal buildings. The buildinge in this area ore megarons, which are structures made with an anteroom and an inner room with a centralized hearth. One of these was paved in mosaics with pebbles, geometrically arranged, of red, blue and white. Part of this may be seen at the museum at the site. These buildings are thought to hove been erected with a pitched roof with a crowning ocroterlon on the front gable. One of them was flanked by two lion heads carved from limestone, which may be seen at the archaeological museum in Ankara. The wails of these royal buildings were of mud reinforced by wooden timbers and beams. The roofs were covered with reeds, topped by a covering of clay.

The largest building at Gordion is, again, a megaron that measures nearly twenty by thirty maters. It was built in the fortified inner court of the palace. The building consisted of a nave and flanking aisies seperated by wooden timbers. These aisles are thought to have been two-storied, It was probably a residence of the royalty, as fragments of rich furniture and elaborate debris found on the floor area suggest. Just opposite this is a row of megarons joined in a long line, making up what is called the Terrace Building. Stairs led from this row of buildings to an open terrace.

Many Phrygian tumuli have been excavated at Gordion. the most important of which is thought to be that of Midas. In this wooden chamber accommodated in an oblong pit dug in the ground, was found a wealth of vessels, furniture and various rich grave offerings. Even today the wood of the tombs is in good condition.

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