Laodikeia Ancient City Excavations Head and PAU Archeology Institute Director Prof. Dr. Celal Şimşek, expressing his thanks to the Ministry officials, especially the Minister of Culture and Tourism Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, who made the Symposium hosted by Denizli, reminded that these lands have hosted many civilizations throughout history and that the remains of these civilizations are still under these lands. Stating that archaeologists go on a journey of thousands of years under the scorching heat from time to time, Prof. Dr. Şimşek said that uncovering the unknowns that remained in the deep pages of history is a source of pride for archaeologists. He underlined that the archaeologists excavating in Turkey undertake important tasks in terms of contributing to the country's tourism.
The rector's opening statements were as follows: "As Pamukkale University, we are pleased to host the 42nd International Excavation, Research and Archeometry Symposium. Denizli is one of the regions where the richest geological formations due to archaeological remains, natural beauties and thermal springs are located in our country. With these features, culture, religion, nature, thermal and health tourism come to the fore in our city. For this reason, millions of domestic and foreign tourists visit our city every year. Only in Denizli Çürüksu Plain are important ancient cities such as Colossae, Hierapolis-Pamukkale, Tripolis, Laodikeia, Attouda and Trapezopolis. Among these, Hierapolis-Pamukkale was included in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List in 1988, and Laodikeia was included in the Temporary World Cultural Heritage List in 2013. Our goal is to include Laodikeia on the permanent list together with our Ministry, Governorate and Metropolitan Municipality in a short time. Considering the richness of the Cultural Heritage in our region, as Pamukkale University, we established the first and only Archeology Graduate School in our country in 2015. Our Archeology Graduate School actively trains experts at the postgraduate level that our country needs. For 20 years, important excavations and research have been carried out in the Archeology and Art History departments of our University. Especially in Denizli, where our University is located, the excavations of Laodikeia, Tripolis and Tabae (Kale-i Tavas) continue uninterruptedly over 12 months of the year. In addition, surveys of Attouda (Sarayköy-Hisar), Colossae (Honaz) and Acipayam Plain are also carried out. In addition, our university undertakes archaeological excavation and restoration works in Stratonikeia and Lagina (Muğla-Yatağan), Sillyon (Antalya-Serik) and Olympos (Antalya-Kumluca).
In the continuation of the said excavation and restoration works, our University makes an important contribution to science and society in terms of revealing, restoring, preserving, transferring them to the next generations and introducing them to the world. Denizli, like a hidden city, stands before us as a great value that has not been fully promoted both in our country and in the world. The best known is Pamukkale. Tourists generally prefer to come with a daily trip. One of the works that can be done to make it permanent is to open the Karahayıt thermal physical therapy and rehabilitation cure center of our university. I hope we will open soon. On this occasion, health tourism will revive and at the same time, Denizli tourism will partially get rid of daily trips. In addition, scientific studies of Denizli to become a gastronomy city were carried out by our University. We recently held the congress of intangible cultural heritage. I would like to remind you that the best examples of this heritage are in this city. As we talked to our general manager and high council members yesterday, Denizli is one of our focused cities that needs special promotion. I can say that we, as the University, can fully support this promotional project. As I conclude my words, I would like to welcome you to the 42nd International Excavation, Research and Archeometry Symposium, and wish the symposium to be auspicious for our country and the scientific world.”In the first session, the Head of the Laodikeia Ancient City Excavation Committee Prof. Dr. Celal Şimşek made a presentation titled 'Laodikeia Excavation and Restoration Works in 2021', and Prof. Dr. Necmi Karul made a presentation titled 'Göbeklitepe and Karahantepe Excavations 2021'.
During the symposium, in five different halls for five days, data and information obtained from archaeological excavations, restoration-conservation studies, archaeological surface surveys, and anthropological and archaeometric studies will be shared with the scientific world by local and foreign scientists from many countries of the world, who carried out excavations and research in our country and all over the world.