| In the Field

Monuments of Aphrodisias

The North Agora

The North Agora was the civic and commercial center of Aphrodisias, situated midway between the Sanctuary of Aphrodite and the Theater hill. It was a large colonnaded square, surrounded on all sides by Ionic porticos. Parts of the south and east colonnades are still standing to their full height. An architrave block belonging to the north portico bears a dedicatory inscription referring to Gaius Julius Zoilos, an Aphrodisian native and freedman of Octavian, who paid for the construction of the Temple of Aphrodite and the stage building of the theater in the 30s BCE.

In Roman times, a series of important public buildings were built on the north side of the Agora, including the Bouleuterion, centered on the north-south axis of the Agora, and the so-called “Bishop’s Palace” on the west side of the Bouleuterion.  To the east lay the Sebasteion, and  to the south, the South Agora, developed as a secondary public square beginning in the early first century CE.

The open space enclosed by the porticos of the Agora was occupied by a number of small buildings, including a square structure which may be an altar, in the center; a small fountain on the east side of the square; and a large sunken pool in the southwest corner.  Excavations in the center of the square showed that it remained the busy civic center of Aphrodisias until the abandonment of the city in the early seventh century CE.

Aphrodisias Exvacations