The ancient city of Augusta, founded by the Roman Emperor Tiberius and dating back to 58 BC-29 AD, was submerged under the waters of the Seyhan Dam Lake in 1955.
What remains of the ancient city are a Medusan sarcophagus in the Adana Museum, coins from that period and drawings, notes and photographs left by archaeologist Mahmut Akok.
The ancient city, which has been under water for many years and most people in Adana were not aware of its existence, was last revealed in 2021 when the dam waters receded.
A part of the ancient city, located at a point close to the Karaömerli Neighborhood of the central Sarıçam district, became visible this year as the water level in the lake dropped.
THE FOCUS OF INTEREST OF TREASURE HUNTERS
However, some treasure hunters who took advantage of the receding dam waters allegedly tried to excavate around the ancient city.
Thanks to the attention of Rasim Şahin, the headman of Karaömerli Neighborhood, and the residents of the neighborhood, the treasure hunters were caught and handed over to the gendarmerie with their crime tools.
Bekir Güllü, a resident of the neighborhood, said that his elders remembered the ancient city and that it was a very large area. Güllü said, “As far as we heard from our grandfathers, they stated that there were dungeon rooms in the ancient city. Most parts of the ancient city were flooded, but the amphitheater part rose above water. No work has been done in the ancient city until now. Only a few archaeologists and adventurers came and made examinations.”
Emphasizing that the ancient city, which emerged with the withdrawal of the dam’s water, attracted the attention of treasure hunters, Güllü said, “The ancient city of Augusta, which emerged as a result of the withdrawal of water in the dam, was endangered by treasure hunters. There have been several excavation attempts by treasure hunters since the ancient city was unearthed. We do not let the treasure hunters get away with it. Since this place is close to the city center and the entrances and exits of the village are close to the residents of the village, treasure hunters cannot easily excavate here.”
Muzaffer Yılmaz (62), who said he has known about the ancient city since he was 8 years old, said, “We used to come fishing in the ancient city. We know from hearsay that this place was a church and a theater hall. Research and investigations should be carried out in the ancient city. The values extracted from here can contribute to our country and the economy.”