Milawanda – Miletos – Palatia – Balat
Miletus was one of the most important cities of classical antiquity. It was a metropolis as early as the sixth century BCE. Its location at the western coast of Türkiye, right where the Büyük Menderes River flows into the Aegean Sea, made it a major hub of Mediterranean trade networks. Many colonies along the Mediterranean and Black Sea coasts were established from Miletus. The earliest traces of human settlement date back to the late Chalcolithic in the fourth millennium BCE. As recently as the fifteenth century CE, Miletus was an important trading base of the principality of Menteşe. At that time, it maintained commercial connections as far afield as Venice.
Archaeologists began to study Miletus in 1873. Since 2018, Universität Hamburg has carried out these excavations as educational fieldwork in collaboration with international partners. Finds include excellently preserved painted vessels and famous sculptures, such as the Miletus Torso. They are exhibited on site and in the museums of Izmir, Istanbul, Berlin, and Paris. Visitors of the extensive site can see evidence of monumental architecture from various periods. The best-preserved examples are a theatre from the Roman Empire and the İlyas Bey Mosque from the fifteenth century. The modern visitors’ paths convey a clear sense of the grid-like layout of the ancient city.