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Turkey - part 2 - Sanctuary of Hekate, Lagina

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Morgana Post number 24530 Posted: 5th June 2018     Subject: Turkey - part 2 - Sanctuary of Hekate, Lagina
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The story starts here:

Tales from Anatolia: Hekatesia 2005, Morgana ... atesia-2005/

NB This is the report I wrote after the first visit to Lagina in 2005.

In June 2012 I finally returned to Bodrum and whilst some things had changed … the road to Labranda for example is a complete mess due to lorries constantly transporting stones from the quarries … the tranquility of the temple is still there.

For my follow-up article elsewhere in WR-online, see here.
Tales of Anatolia: From Hekatesia to Aphrodisias, Part 1 – July 2012 ... 1-july-2012/
Morgana Post number 24531 Posted: 6th June 2018     Subject:
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Here is a good overview - video:

Lagina Hekate Tapınağı ve Kutsal bölgesi - Antik Kenti tanıtım

Excavations resume in Lagina, center of Paganism
MUĞLA, Turkey
September 14, 2017

After a six-year hiatus, excavation at the 3,000-year-old Lagina Sanctuary, which houses the biggest temple ever built for Pagan goddess Hecate, will continue.

Excavation works at the Lagina Sanctuary, which is accepted as a center of Paganism, will begin again after a six-year hiatus
The heritage of Osman Hamdi Beg, a Turk who was the first person began excavation works in Lagina, is continuing with the efforts of professor Bilal Söğüt.

After a six-year hiatus, excavation at the 3,000-year-old Lagina Sanctuary located in Muğla province's Yatağan district will continue.

The works started with drawings of the area and continued with the unearthing of the biggest temple ever made for the Goddess Hecate, who is considered sacred according to Pagan beliefs.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Yatağan District Governor Hayrettin Çiçek said that when Muğla is mentioned, the sea, the sand and the sun come to mind.

Çiçek added that Yatağan, situated in the interior part of the city, came to promi

nence for its cultural and historical richness. He also pointed to the importance of cultural tourism in the region.

"Ancient cities and historical places are attracting more people day by day. The Yatağan district is in an important point in this context. Yatağan hosts two important ancient cities, Stratonikeia and Lagina," he said.

The area that is frequented by many local and foreign tourists along with 100,000 Pagans every year will be visited by more people after the completion of the excavation works.

Çiçek noted that the first excavation works that were started by Osman Hamdi Beg allowed the site to rise to prominence, adding that 100,000 Pagans have come to see the area from northern Europe in the last year.

"We think more tourists and Pagans will visit this site as a result of the excavation works being conducted here. We will also support promotional works," he said.

"Plans are also underway for the establishment of a cafe, restrooms and other areas according to demand," he said.

"I believe that Muğla's Yatağan will become an important tourism destination in our country along with Lagina and Stratonikeia," Çiçek added.

Returning to previous magnificence

Bilal Söğüt, the head of the Lagina Sanctuary excavation area, noted that Lagina is the religious center of the ancient city of Stratonikeia, which is 11 kilometers away, adding that he is heading the excavation works himself.

He said that the excavation works include efforts to revert the Lagina Sanctuary back to its previous state of magnificence.

Söğüt mentioned that Lagina was as much of an important center in the ancient times as it is for the region presently.

He said that the biggest temple constructed for the Goddess Hecate was found in here, Söğüt reported,

"Resembling no other construction of its kind from the ancient times, a bench composed of 11 steps in the western part of the sanctuary can be seen here," he said.

"It is very authentic as it is well-preserved. We can see the doors and the altar which stands nearly at the level of the podium, as well as other places at the temple that are directly visible," he continued. "We know that there are other three little temples apart from the temple of Goddess Hecate."

"Therefore, this site is important in its religious, cultural, political and historical aspects," he concluded.
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Morgana Post number 24532 Posted: 6th June 2018     Subject: Lagina - Turkish Archaonews
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Submitted by Admin on Wed, 09/04/2013 - 16:00. Last modification: Sat, 09/16/2017 - 09:25

Hecate temple in Lagina

Historical overview:
The cult of Hecate had been surrounded by mystery even in the ancient times. Originally, she had not been included in Greek pantheon, e.g. Homer did not mention her at all in his epics. Most probably the cult of Hecate had its origins in Asia Minor, perhaps even in Caria, where Lagina is situated.

The earliest recorded reference to Hecate in Greek literature is the Theogony by Hesiod (8th century BC). This work is a poem that describes the origins of the universe and the genealogies of the Greek gods. Hesiod describes Hecate as a daughter of Perses and Asteria and, therefore as the descendant of the Titans. As such she does not belong to the twelve Olympian gods, but retains certain privileges and is offered new ones by Zeus.

Hecate image and characteristics changed in the antiquity. Her oldest personification had been associated with a friendly goddess, benevolent to people, granting them successes in sports events, fishing and animal husbandry. However, with time, her essential features changed. Hecate started to be perceived as the protector of magic and sorcery and, as such, associated with the underworld. She became the source of magical rituals and the mother of first sorcerers. In this incarnation, she was also the patron of crossroads where her statues were erected. They presented Hecate as a woman with three heads or three torsos.

The Hecate sanctuary in Lagina is much older than the Hellenistic town of Stratonicea which lies in its vicinity. The area of Lagina was inhabited since the Bronze Age. The Seleucids rebuilt the local sanctuary and transformed it into one of the most important religious centres in Caria.

Archaeological research:
In the annals of archaeology, Lagina will be remembered as the place where the first Turkish archaeological team conducted their research in 1891-1892. It was led by the 'father of Turkish archaeology' - Osman Hamdi Bey, together with Halit Ethem Bey. In nearby Turgut, there is a house where Osman Hamdi Bey stayed during his work in Lagina.

After a long break, the archaeological studies of Lagina were renewed in 1993 under the patronage of Muğla Museum. They are currently carried out by an international team coordinated by Professor Ahmet Adil Tırpan from Selçuk University in Konya.

read on...
Morgana Post number 24533 Posted: 6th June 2018     Subject: Nature and history butchered for coal
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Now comes the bad news...

Nature and history butchered for coal
July 10 2017 By MELİS ALPHAN

On one side there is Bodrum; on the other side there is Marmaris. At the center of this paradise lies the Yatağan Thermal Power Station with its giant polluting capacity.

This power station started energy production with three of its units in 1985. Then local groups and lawyers appealed to relevant ministries, TEAŞ and the Muğla Governor’s Office for the closure of the power station because of its negative effects on human health and the environment. They did not even reply.

Several cases were opened; in 1996, experts decided to stop production at the station, but when the courts rejected the closure, it was taken to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). In 2005, the ECHR fined Turkey for harming the rights of the applicants. The Environment Minister of the time, Osman Pepe, even said they would have to close down the power station at Yatağan if border values for human health were exceeded.

Yatağan was not closed at that time; it was privatized in 2014 together with the mine providing coal for it. The life of a thermal power station is a maximum of 35 years, but Yatağan’s life was extended when privatized. Trucks are constantly carrying coal to the plant. At present, Yatağan, which is the oldest and most unproductive power station in Turkey, one that has to retire, is almost “drinking” the low quality lignite coal excavated from the area.

It has to enlarge the lignite zone that provides coal to it. The plant is at an ever-burning unproductive state.

When the coal zone was enlarged in 2012, the Yeşilbağcılar village, which had a 4,500-year-old history and 10 olive trees that were 800 years old, had to be relocated when coal was found underneath. Both the village and the 109-year-old mosque were promised to be moved together to one location, but when TOKİ houses were insufficient, 187 more houses were built on cheap land allocated by the municipality. The villagers were divided over it and the village was scattered. The mosque was not moved.

People who were moved to TOKİ houses will have to move again in a couple of years because talk is that there is coal under their new houses.

After the Yeşilbağcılar village, next is the Turgut village. It has been decided for the 93-plot olive grove near the Turgut village to be nationalized. The village’s fresh water source is below this grove. The drinking water of the village is at risk. Once heavy machinery goes into the area, the entire water source will be damaged.

Once the olive trees that hold the soil are removed, then the village located on the slope will be prone to landslides. Another village is about to be forced to relocate. Turgut will not only lose its family business farms and olive groves but there is a historic site within the village: Lagina. The Hekate Temple there attracts tourists from all over the world as the worshipping center of paganism for thousands of years. A new thermal power plant is planned to be built 150 meters from the temple. Its construction has been planned since 2007.

In short, on one hand there are plans to expand the mining zone of the Yatağan power plant that should have been closed long ago, while on the other hand there is the new thermal power plant plan that jeopardizes the Turgut village, its olive groves and the archeological site, which is one of the centers for faith tourism. It is not acceptable to butcher nature and its historic heritage in exchange for coal. It’s a pity.

http://www.hurriyetdail ... coal--115297
Morgana Post number 26542 Posted: 18th September 2020     Subject: Archeologists re-erect structures at Sanctuary of Hecate
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Latest update:

Archeologists re-erect structures at Sanctuary of Hecate in southwest Turkey

Holding worldwide significance as the largest temple built in honor of the Greek goddess, the site in Lagina will draw more visitors with its rejuvenated architecture
The 2020 excavation, restoration and conservation work on the 3,000-year-old Sanctuary of Hecate in Lagina, located in the Yatağan district of the southwestern Muğla province, continues to be carried out. Considered to be the center of the pagan Wicca religion, the temple and its structures are being gradually re-erected for tourism.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Bilal Söğüt, head of the excavation team, said Lagina was the religious center of ancient Stratonikeia, also known as the "City of Gladiators, ” which has been included on UNESCO's tentative list of World Heritage sites. Stratonikeia is notable as one of the rare places where traces from the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Anatolian beylik, Ottoman and Republican periods coexist. The ancient city’s sacred space, Lagina, is located just 8.5 kilometers (5.2 miles) away.

Ottoman scientists first became interested in Lagina during the 19th century. The original excavations were led by intellectual Osman Hamdi Bey, founder of the Istanbul Archaeological Museum, between 1891 and 1892. Modern excavation and restoration work began in 1993 under the guidance of the Muğla Museum and with an international team advised by Ahmet Tırpan from Pamukkale University. After Tırpan's team ended their work at the site in 2011, fresh excavations were led by Söğüt.

The sanctuary is also known as the site of the first scientific archaeological research to have been carried out by an entirely Turkish team.
Pointing out that this year they have been working in both the ancient city of Stratonikeia and on Lagina's Sanctuary of Hecate, Söğüt said they are focusing on buildings dating back to ancient times in both areas. “For example, we are excavating a section in the area in front of the Propylon (monumental gateway) in Lagina, where there are many materials. At the same time, we are also carrying out restoration works related to the architectural blocks of the Propylon, ” he said. Söğüt said they have preserved the architectural blocks and the most important inscriptions that they unearthed in the area.

Religious center

The Sanctuary of Hecate heightens Lagina's importance because it is the largest in the world built on behalf of the Greek goddess of witchcraft, magic and ghosts, Söğüt said. He said their goal is to be able to show the artifacts to visitors and to show them that the ancient city was an important religious center.

Archaeologists work on historical columns at the Sanctuary of Hecate in Lagina, Muğla province, southwestern Turkey, Sept. 7, 2020. (AA Photo)

“We knew previously that the half-round entrance of the Propylon was on the west side. To the east of the same door was a section with a triangular pediment, and the blocks of this area are now about to be completed with our excavations. We will restore this part and the northern pediment of the Lagina Hecate Temple in the coming period," he said.

Söğüt also noted that Lagina is the only place where the Amazons, a tribe of female warriors in Greek mythology, are depicted as peaceful and that both domestic and foreign groups come to visit the area because of the importance of the sanctuary.
(read on... )
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Morgana Post number 26583 Posted: 12th October 2020     Subject: Temple of Hecate at Lagina and ancient practices
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Temple of Hecate at Lagina and ancient practices
By Sean McShee | October 6, 2020

Entry to the Temenos, with its ten descending steps – Image credit: CTHOE – CC BY-SA 4.0

TWH – Ruined ancient temples may hold clues to ancient pagan practice. In “Reconstructing the Sacred Experience at the Sanctuary of Hekate at Lagina, ” architectural historian, Amanda Herring, examined that temple to understand how the ancients experienced it.

The physicality of ancient Lagina
The Temple of Lagina is located in southwestern modern-day Turkey. In the ancient world, people called that area “Caria. ” According to Herring, Caria had resisted Greek influence until the Hellenistic period (323 to 31 B. C. E). Carians built the Temple of Hecate around 125 B. C. E. The temple fused Hellenistic and Carian cultures.

Excavations have found evidence of ritual activity earlier than 125 B. C. E. The Carians had built the temple of 125 B. C. E. on top of buried religious offerings from the fourth to second centuries. After one of Rome’s enemies sacked Lagina, Rome paid to repair the temple. Carians began to see Roman as “protective. ”

In Hellenistic culture, sacred and ordinary space differed spiritually and legally. Clear boundary markers separated the temenos (temple precinct) from the surrounding ordinary space. Before entering sacred space, people generally had to undergo purification.

Differences between the cults of Hecate
The cult of Hecate in the wider Hellenistic world and the cult in Lagina shared many qualities. A chthonic or underworld deity, she ruled magic and the underworld. She stood at crossroads and the transition between life and death. She carried a torch and the Keys to the Underworld.

The cult of Hecate in the wider Hellenistic world differed from that in Lagina. In the wider world, people built small shrines to Hecate at crossroads and in doorways. Her devotees made offerings of bread, fish, and cakes. They did not sacrifice animals to her.

In Lagina, however, they built a monumental temple for Hecate. Her priests sacrificed animals to her. Besides her chthonic aspect, Hecate had become a protector and civic goddess in Lagina. The Carians imprinted her image on their coins.

Practices of the cult of Hecate at Lagina
Carian culture linked religious centers with urban centers. Lagina was linked to the town of Stratonikeia, 10 km (6.2 miles) to its south. Devotees would have to travel the 10 km from Stratonikeia to Lagina. Herring argues that this would have prevented most people from going to the temple on a daily basis. Instead, only the on-site priests would perform Hecate’s daily rituals.

Herring argued that most people traveled to Lagina only during Hecate’s feast days. The Genethlia marked Hecate’s birth. It occurred on the 30th day of each month. Once a year, a larger Genethliac would occur. Hecate had a larger, multi-day, annual event called the Festival of the Key. The rites included a Procession of the Key. In that rite, the daughter of the priest of Hecate carried the key from Lagina to Stratonikeia. In that urban center, people would make sacrifices to Hecate. The priest’s daughter would then carry the key back to Lagina.

The road from Stratonikeia to Lagina led to the entrance to the temenos. Long stoas marked its boundaries. A stoa has a wall at its back, pillars at its front, and a roof overhead. The southern stoa slanted inward on a diagonal. The entrance stood at its southeastern corner. The temenos had the form of a truncated rectangle. From north to south, the temenos measured 135 meters (443 ft.). From west to east, it measured 150 meters (492 ft.).

After people passed through the gateway, they would next descend ten steps. Herring describes walking down these steps as a reinforcing “the transition from profane to sacred space. ” Soon, they would see the large, ornate temple and the altar.

(read on... ) ... b6-238023049
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