Priene Ancient City

Houses of Priene Ancient city
Priene Ancient city located within the site of the Dilek National Park in the north of the place where the river Major Menderes (Maeander) flows into the sea and up on the steep slope in the southern foothills of the Mount Mycale. The name of the city is “Pruwana” in the Etruscan/Luwian language, meaning “Castle City”.

It was established as a fort city by the Etruscan/ Luwian tribes who came to the area circa 3000 B.C. Subsequently, it became the sacred ceremonial and national gathering place of the Panionion Confederacy. In the 12th century B.C. population of the city increased with the influx of those returning from the Trojan War and those immigrating from the Aegean islands and it began to expand.

The city which was included in the Ionian Confederation fell under the hegemonies of the Lydians in the 7th and Persians in the 5th centuries B.C. When the river Major Menderes was silted up with deposits the settlement enlarged towards the level hillside in the west. In the 3rd century B.C. the Macedonian King Alexander provided aid to the construction Alexander provided aid to the construction of the famed Temple of Athena. In the 2nd century B.C. the Capadoccian King Ariarathes delivered his treasure to Priene and when he was unable to recover it, he besieged the city. Consequently, a peace treaty was signed and the treasure was returned.

 The city was brought under the jurisdiction of first the Kingdom of Pergamon and then of Rome. Upon the silting up of the gulf, it established a harbour with the name Naulloctos on the Bay of Guzelçamlı of the Dilek Peninsula and when the gulf was completely buried under silt, It was abandoned. Amongst the ruins in the city situated at an elevation of 200 m over the plain, on the southern slope of the Mount of Mycale, are the acropolis castle walls.

Ancient Priene City