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Amorium, Turkey

During the Middle Ages (ca. A.D. 650–1000), Amorium, in central Anatolia, was an important Byzantine city, which at its height in the early ninth century A.D. was the third largest in the Byzantine Empire, after Constantinople (Istanbul) and Thessalonica (Thessaloniki, Greece). It was also the home town of the Amorian dynasty of Byzantine emperors (r. A.D. 820–867)—Michael II, Theophilus, and Michael III. In A.D. 838, Amorium was the site of a famous siege by the armies of the Abbasid caliph al-Mu‛tasim. Despite the sack of the city, evidence for which has been uncovered during the excavations, Amorium was rebuilt and flourished again until the arrival of the Turks in Anatolia during the late eleventh century A.D.

Amorium

Amorium in winter: view of the Lower City Church looking north

The excavations at Amorium began in 1988 under the direction of Prof. R. Martin Harrison. Between 1993 and 2009 field seasons were conducted by Christopher Lightfoot, curator in the Department of Greek and Roman Art. Between 2003 and 2014 the Amorium Excavations Project received generous support from the Adelaide and Milton de Groot Fund at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Amorium Excavations Project maintains its own website in English and Turkish: www.amoriumexcavations.org. This provides a full up-to-date list of publications as well as news about lectures and other events relating to Amorium.

Amorium

Amorium in spring: view from the Lower City Church looking north to the Upper City mound

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