Turkish Journal of Earth Sciences






The ancient cilty of Priene was one of the earliest Ionian settlements within the western part of the Büyük Menderes valley (the ancient Maeander River) and was first founded about 8 km in the east of the present site. The old Priene was probably destroyed by a destructive earthquake in the 350s BC and the city was shifted to the existing place in 350 BC. The new city contains an abundance of evidence related to earthquakes. The following evidence indicates that damaging earthquakes, occurred in the Büyük Menderes graben, caused great damage to the new Priene. (1) Part of the Sacred Stoa is offset by about 5 cm dextrally and about 50 cm vertically; (2) in the western end of the Sacred Stoa, stair blocks are displaced and tilted; (3) block stones of a N-S- trending street wall are displaced and tilted about 16° to north; (4) floor blocks of the agora are displaced and broken; (5) block stones of a semicircular building and two adjacent columns, near the nothwestern corner of the agora, are tilted up to 16° to north and (6) the lower column-shafts in the Temple of Athena broken all the way around on their bottoms. In addition, restoration of some public buildings (such as the agora, the theatre, street walls and water reservoirs) in the cilty centre in different times and renovation of the cult statue and the altar in the Temple of Athena indicate that the city was affected by damaging earthquakes at various times after it was rebuilt.

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