The gods, who were wondering in the sky and heroes of ancient times, lived in Sipylus of Manisa (ancient Magnesia). Unfortunately, there ‘s no an archeology faculty in our city, which has the smell of very old history spread from its west to the east, from the north to the south, and from Sipylus to Nif Mounts.
We decided to travel in the history of Manisa, which we learned from some books that we read. Comprehensive and scientific excavations have yet to be conducted in our region. An archeology faculty in Manisa C.B. University must be established so that the history of Manisa can be deeply understood.
The idols and phalluses of Manisa Museum are the proofs for the prehistorically establishment of the city. The phalluses were found in Paşa Köy Graveyard in the middle of Manisa Plain. Some writers believe that these phalluses indicate the existence of men for breeding. Ancient Manisa (Magnesia) was set at the middle of the plain, Sarl Texiye, Sandler, Hamilton and Pausanias say that Tantalis was in this plain. Spilos City was established in the place of Tantalis. The collapse of Sipylus should not be accepted as a mythological story. There are large number of evidence proving that there was an ancient dynasty and city. Mellink mentions a culture around Marmara Lake District in the south of Akhisar, which is older than Yortan. Besides, D. French dates the vanished pots found in Nuriye and Ulucak in the south of Akhisar to B.C. 5000 and also dates the vanished black fragments to B.C. 4000. These dates mean a civilization, which is older than Mesopotamia1.
Yortan could not have been thoroughly examined. That Archeology Department, which is hoped to be set, can reveal it to the daylight. It is believed that Magnesia was established by Magnets. After Trojan War. Magnets moved to Crete then came back to Anterior Asia and set Magnesia around Sipylus and Menderes (Meander).
In the period of Byzantine (395 - 1313), there was a bishop living in Manisa. After 1222, Manisa became the center of Byzantine Empire. Jan Dukas established a large church and Sandik Kale (Sandik Fortress). The ruins of the Tantalos Fortress and the fortresses of Johannes Dukas are at the top of Manisa Dagh. After being defeated by the commander of Mogols, Baycu, the rulers of Seljuk left to the mountains. As a result Saruhans and other Turkish chiefs began pushing Byzantine Empire. Emperor Michael Paleolus asked for help from, Ferdinant Dragon, the king of Sicily. Ferdinant sent Roje Dofler to Byzantine. Dofler, who stayed in Manisa, left all his wealth in Manisa and moved to Ayaslog. Texir, who came Izmir (Smyrna) in 1885, gave the circular place behind Bayrakli, the name “ Tomb of Tantalos.” The excavation in Ada Tepe by the head of Izmir Museum, Rustem Duyuran`s support and his cooperation revealed that it was a cistern and all complex was a surrounding fortress in 1945. Carl Humann, in his visit to Manisa in 1880, wrote that he found the Tantalos Citadel (1988Tantalos Citadel in Sipylus) Carl Humann says: “I have explored a cave in Manisa in 1880 and it is doubtless that this was the place about where the ancients created rumors.” We, people living in Manisa, do not know where this citadel is in Sipylus. Carl Humann continues, “except shepherds, hunters and lime blisters, almost nobody knows Sipylus very well. The majority just gaze the sky and the mountains and does not know the existence of the livings.” We have to believe that, there is not only a mountain in Manisa but the city comprehends many other things as well.
It is widely agreed that the dynasty of Tantalos (Gyges`s grandfather) continued and its name was known under the name of “Daskylos” during the period (B.C. 1192 to 687), between 2nd and 17th kings, when 22 kings of Heraklits Generation of Lydia had ruled. Therefore, there must be an important link between the founder of ancient Tantalis and Tantalos.
P. James of London University proposes that Tantolus Kingdom is identical to infamous “dream country” Atlantis and was in West Anatolia2. Why could not Tantalos exist and be swallowed by the flood that occurred as a result of a terrifying earthquake? In addition, the idea supporting that Tantalos Dynasty was erased by an earthquake, was accepted by ancient resources in ancient times3.
Zeus commanded the gold dog to protect his secret place in Crete. The son of Ponderous, Neropsan, stole his gold dog and brought it to Sipylus. Ponderous gave the dog to look after, Tantalos, who is the son of Zeus and Plato. After years, Ponderous came to Sipylus. After years, Ponderous came to Syphilus and asked for the dog. Tantalos swore that he never take it. Zeus punished Ponderous for stealing the dog and turned him to stone4.
Look at what Pausanias - the most famous traveler of ancient times - who is writer and was born in Manisa, wrote 1850 years before, “ I know that the tombs of legendary Zeus`s son and Pluto are in Sipylus. Because I saw them and they were worth seeing. The city sunk in the mountain. The waters were gushing out from the cleft and they created the Saloe Lake. You would see the ruins of the city (Tantalis) underneath the lake, before the flood covered the place.”
A.D. 17, during Tiberius`s times a devastating earthquake occurred in Aegean Region and Manisa. During the night 12 cities and Aigai became ruined. Today Aigai is above the soil and Manisa C. B. University must raise this mysterious city. As a result another tourism source will be created in Yunt Mountains.
Hermus (modern Gediz Stream) springs convolutedly between Yunt Mount and Sipylus in the valley, which was sea in ancient times. Famous tulip bups of Ottomans was brought from here to Istanbul. Many Seljuk attacks were done in this valley. Timor, the legendary Mogul leader, moved to Smyrna via Hermus Valley. Great Alexander passed from this valley to establish his great empire and bivouacked here. He conquered Magnesia and Sardes in 332. One of the most devastating wars of the history, Magnesia War (B.C. 190), took place in this plain. The deaths stayed in the deep of the soil.
The “King Road” from Bergama to Sardes and Ninoma had passed in this region. There is a big bas-relief carved in a stone in Akpinar. That is Cybele that is one of the biggest monuments of Anotolia. Whatever the truth is, this monument, which is controversial due to its Hittite characters, it can be put to a place in history and it is older than the tombs of the same civilization. Which were found in the examinations of Sangarius around Seyid El Gazi. The inscriptions accompanying these figures were taken from Phocnicion Alphabet. Pausanias took this big simulacrum in to consideration as the old Cybele, if the period, when Syra - Coppodocia Culture was a dominant culture in Anatolia is thought, this conclusion can be reached that this bas-relief was the result of hard and skilful work.
Today there is a natural monument called Niobe in “ Çay Başi”. Archeolog Bossert proposes that an archeological excavation around Niobe can reveal many historical monuments. “Saruhan Bey”, the head of Saruhanlilar invaded Manisa and made it his capital in 1313. All historical resources say that Saruhanlilar had 15 cities and 20 fortresses. These should be examined one by one. There will be many jobs to do for the Archeology Faculty, which has been said to be crucial. Saruhanlilar gave big emphasise to the sailing so that many Saruhan sailing ship traveled and pushed the neighboring islands. The city, which was overtaken by Ottomans, has many historical monuments belonging to this great empire. There is another monument in Uzunburun Village, which is called “Yoğurtçu Kalesi” (a citadel). Even though Manisa and Gediz plains are very rich in terms of history, we know little about here. Wars and invasions caused many monuments to disappear. Today, many monuments of prehistory and medieval times are decaying under the earth. The real history of Manisa can only be revealed by Archeological Excavations.