Why was the Ancient Greek City of Hadrianopolis Abandoned?

Turkish archaeologists are set to solve the mystery of the abandonment of the ancient city of Hadrianapolis, in the Eskipazar district of the Black Sea province of Karabuk, according to a Hurriyet Daily News report.

İbrahim Sahin, the culture and tourism director of Karabuk, and Ersin Celikbas, an archaeology professor at Karabuk University have investigated the site.

According to the researchers, Hadrianapolis was evacuated suddenly in the 7th century.

“This year’s excavations revealed that there was a sudden evacuation in the ancient city. We are trying to find out the reason — whether an earthquake happened, an invasion occurred or a big fire broke out. But we can certainly say that life here ended in the 7th century. There was not even a single person left in the ancient city,” Celikbas said.

Celikbas said that the excavation unearthed a church, one of the oldest in Anatolia, and  mosaics in the church dated back to the 5th century AD.

“We found very important figures on the mosaics. We found a panel with one bull figure, one lion figure and two peacocks. When we look at similar examples of these figures in Anatolia, the most complete example is the mosaic that we found in Hadrianapolis this year. We think that the church was dedicated to Roman emperors,” he said.

“It is a very important ancient city and a “mosaic haven,’ because Hadrianapolis is known mostly for its mosaics. We can say that it is the most important city in the western Black Sea region. It was the center of eparchy in the ancient ages. Notable religious functionaries lived here. This year’s works unearthed many small findings from the 6th century. We are about to get more important results in our works. We are about to solve the mystery in the ancient city,” Celikbas noted.

Hadrianapolis was inhabited in the late Hellenistic, Roman and early Byzantine periods. Surface surveys have uncovered 14 public buildings and other structures in the city.

Two baths, two churches, a defense structure, rock tombs, a theater, an arched and domed structure, a monumental cultic niche, walls, a villa, other monumental buildings and some religious buildings were found.