Klazomenai (Ancient Greek: Κλαζομεναί) or Clazomenae was an ancient Greek city on the coast of Ionia and a member of the Ionian League. It was one of the first cities to issue silver coinage. Its ruins are now located in the modern town Urla near Izmir in Izmir Province, Turkey.

Κλαζομεναί (in Ancient Greek)
Coin from Klazomenai depicting a winged boar, 499 BC
Teos is located on the western coast of Turkey.
Teos is located on the western coast of Turkey.
Shown within Turkey
Alternative nameClazomenae
LocationUrla, Izmir Province, Turkey
Coordinates38°21′29.4″N 26°46′3.3″E / 38.358167°N 26.767583°ECoordinates: 38°21′29.4″N 26°46′3.3″E / 38.358167°N 26.767583°E


Klazo Map
Map of Aegean side of Anatolia showing the location of Klazomenai

Klazomenai is located in modern Urla (Vourla (Βουρλά) in Greek) on the western coast of Anatolia, on the southern coast of the Gulf of İzmir, at about 20 miles west of İzmir. The city was originally located on the mainland at Limantepe, but probably during the early fifth-century BC Ionian Revolt from the Persians, it was moved to the Karantina Island just off the coast. Soon after that, the city of Chyton was founded on the mainland the late fifth-century BC. Both cities had conflictual relations but Alexander the Great eventually connected Karantina island to the mainland with a causeway, the remains of which are still visible.


A silver coin minted in Klazomenai shows the head of Apollo, the principal god of the city. According to myth, swans drew the chariot in which Apollo every year flew south from his winter home in the land of the Hyperboreans. But Klazomenai was also home to large numbers of swans, and it is thought that the verb klazo was used to describe the call of the wild birds. The swan on the obverse is both an attribute of Apollo and a pun on the name Klazomenai.[1]

Ancient times

Though not in existence before the arrival of the Ionians in Asia, its original founders were largely settlers from Phlius and Cleonae. It stood originally near Limantepe; but the inhabitants, alarmed by the encroachments of the Persians, moved to the Karantina island of the bay, and established their city there.

IONIA, Klazomenai. Circa 386-301 BC
Coinage of Klazomenai, Ionia, circa 386-301 BC
IONIA, Achaemenid Period. Tiribazos. Satrap of Lydia, 388-380 BC
Coinage of Achaemenid satrap Tiribazos, 388-380 BC. Klazomenai mint.

Clazomenae was attacked by the Lydian king Alyattes in the 6th century.[2] During the 5th century it was for some time subject to the Athenians, but about the middle of the Peloponnesian War (412 BC) it revolted. After a brief resistance, however, it again acknowledged the Athenian supremacy, and repelled a Lacedaemonian attack. In 387 BC Klazomenai and other cities in Asia were taken over by Persia, but the city continued to issue its own coins.

The philosopher Anaxagoras (c. 510 – 428 BC), often styled "Anaxagoras of Clazomenae", was born in Clazomenae, as was the earlier philosopher Hermotimus of Clazomenae.

Under the Romans, Clazomenae was included in the province of Asia, and enjoyed an immunity from taxation.

Clazomenae early became a Christian bishopric. Its bishop, Eusebius took part in the Council of Ephesus in 431 and the Council of Chalcedon in 451. Another, Macarius, participated in the Council of Constantinople (869), which is seen within the Catholic Church as the eighth ecumenical council.[3][4][5] Although still documented at the end of the 14th century, it is no longer a residential bishopric. Accordingly, Clazomenae is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see.[6]


The site of Liman Tepe, which lies near an old harbour contains very important Bronze Age excavations, the most prominent and remarkable of which is the amount of varying archaic burial sites, as well as evidence of the practises associated with them close by. One possible explanation for this is that these sites were used by different social groups within society.

The city was famous for production and exports of olive oil and its painted terracotta sarcophagi, which are the finest monuments of Ionian painting in the 6th century BC.

A large painted terracotta sarcophagus and lid, together weighing about 2 tonnes, were discovered in the vicinity of Klazomenai in the late nineteenth century. An ancient Greek work dating to about 500 BC, the funerary objects depict war scenes, chariot racing, hunting as well as geometric patterns throughout and are now in the British Museum's collection.[7]

It was also prized for its variety of garum.

Ancient olive press

Olive oil extraction workshop at Klazomenai

Olive oil extraction installation (işlik) dating back to the third quarter of the 6th century BC uncovered in Klazomenai is the only surviving example of a level and weights press from an ancient Greek city and precedes by at least two centuries the next securely datable earliest presses found in Greece.[8] It was restored and reconstructed in 2004–2005 through collaboration between Ege University, a Turkish olive-oil exporter and a German natural building components company, as well as by local artisans, on the basis of the clearly visible millstone with a cylindrical roller and three separation pits. The olive oil obtained turned out to be quite a success in business terms as well. The reconstructed olive oil press is located on the original mainland site of Klazomenai, at 38°21′40.4″N 26°46′13.3″E / 38.361222°N 26.770361°E.

Financial pioneers

In an event noted by Aristotle, Klazomenians also appear as financial pioneers in economic history, for having used one commodity (olive oil), in an organized manner and on a city-scale, to purchase another (wheat), with interests refundable on the value of the first. Around 350 B.C., suffering from a shortage of grain and scarcity of funds, the rulers of the city passed a resolution calling on citizens who had stores of olive oil to lend to the city at interest. The loan arranged, they hired vessels and sent them to ports of exportation of grain and bought a consignment on the pledged security of the value of the oil.[9]

See also


  1. ^ "(34) Klazomenai, Ionia (Turkey)". Catalogue of the Ottilia Buerger Collection of Ancient and Byzantine Coins. Lawrence University.
  2. ^ Vanessa B. Gorman (2001). Miletos, the ornament of Ionia: history of the city to 400 BCE. University of Michigan Press. p. 122. ISBN 978-0-472-11199-2.
  3. ^ Raymond Janin, v. Clazomènes, in Dictionnaire d'Histoire et de Géographie ecclésiastiques, vol. XII, Paris 1953, col. 1082
  4. ^ Michel Lequien, Oriens christianus in quatuor Patriarchatus digestus, Paris 1740, Vol. I, coll. 729-730
  5. ^ Sophrone Pétridès, v. Clazomenae. Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. IV, New York 1908
  6. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 838
  7. ^ British Museum's Collection
  8. ^ Lin Foxhall (2007). "Section 6.3.2 Figures". Olive Cultivation in Ancient Greece. Oxford University Press. p. 141. ISBN 978-0-19-815288-0.
  9. ^ Fik Meijer; Onno van Nijf (1992). Trade, Transport, and Society in the Ancient World. Routledge. p. 113. ISBN 978-0-415-00345-2.

Further reading

  • Greaves, A.M., 2010. The Land of Ionia: Society and Economy in the Archaic Period. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Cook, R.M., 1981. Clazomenian sarcophagi. Mainz: Zabern.
  • E. Koparal-E.İplikçi, “Archaic Olive Oil Extraction Plant in Klazomenai”, in A. Moustaka, E. Skarlatidou, M.C. Tzannes, Y. Ersoy (eds.), Klazomenai, Teos and Abdera: Metropoleis and Colony, Proceedings of the International Symposium held at the Archaeological Museum of Abdera (Oct. 2001), Thessaloniki 2004, 221-234.

External links

Abdera, Thrace

Abdera is a municipality and a former major Greek polis on the coast of Thrace.

The ancient polis is to be distinguished from the municipality, which was named in its honor. The polis lay 17 km east-northeast of the mouth of the Nestos River, almost directly opposite the island of Thasos. It was a colony placed in previously unsettled Thracian territory, not then a part of Hellas, during the age of Greek colonization. The city that developed from it became of major importance in ancient Greece. After the 4th century AD it declined, contracted to its acropolis, and was abandoned, never to be reoccupied except by archaeologists.

Meanwhile, life went on as the changing population settled in other communities in the region. One named Polystylus changed its name to Abdera. In 2011 the municipality of Abdera was synoecized from three previous municipalities comprising a number of modern settlements. The ancient site remains in it as a ruin. It now lies in the Xanthi regional unit of Thrace, Greece. The municipality of Abdera has 19,005 inhabitants (2011). The seat of the municipality is the town Genisea.


Ariassus or Ariassos (Ancient Greek: Άριασσός) was a town in Pisidia, Asia Minor built on a steep hillside about 50 kilometres inland from Attaleia (modern Antalya).


Cestrus was a city in the Roman province of Isauria, in Asia Minor. Its placing within Isauria is given by Hierocles, Georgius Cyprius, and Parthey's (Notitiae episcopatuum). While recognizing what the ancient sources said, Lequien supposed that the town, whose site has not been identified, took its name from the River Cestros and was thus in Pamphylia. Following Lequien's hypothesis, the 19th-century annual publication Gerarchia cattolica identified the town with "Ak-Sou", which Sophrone Pétridès called an odd mistake, since this is the name of the River Cestros, not of a city.


Chyton, according to Ephorus, was a new city founded in Epirus during the 4th century BC. The city was established by Ionians from Klazomenai.

Its site is unlocated.


Cotenna was a city in the Roman province of Pamphylia I in Asia Minor. It corresponds to modern Gödene, near Konya, Turkey.


Gitanae or Gitana (Ancient Greek: Γίτανα), or Gitona (Γίτωνα), or Titana (Τίτανα or Τιτάνα), was a city of ancient Epirus, described by Livy as being near Corcyra, and about 10 miles from the coast. as a place of meeting of the Epirote League (Concillio Epirotarum). It is not mentioned by any other ancient writer, and it was conjectured that the word is a corrupt form of Chyton, which Ephorus spoke of as a place in Epirus colonised by Ionians from Klazomenai.

However, its site has been located as the place bearing the modern name Gkoumani.

Karantina Island

Karantina Island (Turkish: Karantina Adası, literally "Quarantine Island") is an island in the Gulf of İzmir, Turkey.

The island is a part of Urla ilçe (district) of İzmir Province at 38°22′26″N 26°47′07″E. Its surface area is 320,000 square metres (3,400,000 sq ft) and its distance to mainland (Karaburun Peninsula of Anatolia) is only 600 metres (2,000 ft).There is an artificial connection between the mainland and the island.

The ancient history of the island is related to that of the ancient site Klazomenai. During the 19th century the island was equipped with the up to date medical instruments and it was used as a quarantine island. In 1950, the buildings were restored to be used as a hospital. In 1955, its name was "Sun and Sea Treatment Institute". After the construction of new buildings it was renamed as "Urla Hospital of Orthopedics". In 1986, the hospital was redesigned as a general purpose hospital.It is planned to open a medical museum on the island.

Klazomenian sarcophagi

Klazomenian Sarcophagi (also Clazomenian Sarcophagi or Klazomenai Sarcophagi) are a type of ancient Greek sarcophagus named after the Ionian Greek city of Klazomenai, where most examples were found. They are made of coarse clay in shades of brown to pink. Added to the basin-like main sarcophagus is a rectangular broad frame, often covered with a white slip and then painted.

The second major site for these sarcophagi is Smyrna. A few others have been found in Rhodes, Samos, Lesbos and Ephesos. They were probably produced in Klazomenai, between 550 BC (Late Archaic) and 470 BC (Early Classical).

Klazomenian vase painting

Klazomenian vase painting (also Clazomenean vase painting) was a regional style of ancient Greek vase painting, belonging to the East Greek representations of that form of art.

By the middle of the 6th century BC (c. 550–530 BC), the workshops of Klazomenai mainly painted amphorae and hydriai, as well as deep bowls, usually with large, rather angular figures. The vessels are not very carefully made. Popular motifs are circles of dancing women, and animals. The leading workshops were those of the Tübingen Painter, the Petrie Painter and the Urla Group.

The majority of the vases were found at Naukratis and at Tell Deffenneh, a site abandoned in 525 BC. Their origin was initially unclear, but the archaeologist was able to determine it through comparison with the imagery on the so-called Klazomenian sarcophagi. The pots were often decorated with added plastic women's masks. Mythological scenes are rare. Popular decorative motifs are scale ornaments, rows of white dots and stiff dancing figures. Singular and unusual is the depiction of a herald in front of a king and queen. Men are usually marked by massive spade-shaped beards. Since around 600 BC and until c. 520 BC, Clazomenai probably produced the rosette cup, successor shape to the East Greek bird cup.


Lebedus or Lebedos (Ancient Greek: Λέβεδος) was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League, located south of Smyrna, Klazomenai and neighboring Teos and before Ephesus, which is further south. It was on the coast, ninety stadia (16.65 km) to the east of Cape Myonnesus, and 120 (22.2 km) west of Colophon.

The city was built on and around a very small peninsula (175 m long, reaching a height of 61 m and with an isthmus 201 m wide), which is called the Kısık Peninsula today and depends on the coastal township of Ürkmez, part of Seferihisar locality, a district center depending on the province seat of İzmir.

The bishopric of Lebedus, a suffragan of Ephesus, is included in the Catholic Church's list of titular sees.


The town of Limantepe, sometimes spelled Liman Tepe, located on Turkey's western coast is the site of a prehistoric (Bronze Age) settlement that includes an ancient port dating from 2500 years located underwater offshore. The area is situated in the urban zone of the coastal town of Urla near İzmir. In pre-classical antiquity and during the Hellenistic and Roman eras, it was a Greek town called Larisa.

The harbor settlement was inhabited starting from 6000 years ago and was equipped with a fortification wall partially submerged in the sea. The settlement changed significantly over time, and is one of the oldest known artificial harbors in the Aegean Sea. The underwater find includes vessels and urns that are believed to have arrived at the port from Greece and maybe Cyprus via the Black Sea.The archaeological site was discovered by Ekrem Akurgal in 1950, and its exploration has been pursued on land and underwater since 1979 by an international team and many of the artifacts discovered are currently on display in İzmir Archaeology Museum. It is very close but separate from the site of Klazomenai, inhabited as of the Iron Age and which itself had changed location several times during its history in the same area between the mainland and Karantina Island across its coastline. Israeli archaeologists and divers including students from Haifa University have helped investigate.

List of ancient settlements in Turkey

Below is the list of ancient settlements in Turkey. There are innumerable ruins of ancient settlements spread all over the country. While some ruins date back to Neolithic times, most of them were settlements of Hittites, Phrygians, Lydians, Ionians, Urartians, and so on.

Mahmut Tolon

Dr. Tolon is a farmer, physician and demographer. He was born on 22 July 1950 in Istanbul. He is the second son of Dr. Nurullah Ihsan Tolon and Mihrizafer Tolon (Kostem).

He attended Ankara Koleji 1955-1964 and Nicolaus Cusanus Gymnasium in Bad Godesberg, Bonn 1964-1968. During his medical studies at the University of Kiel and University of Bonn he participated in "externships" at the University of Sydney and Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia and Utah, USA with German Academic Exchange Service scholarships. He earned his doctorate (Dr. med.) with a dissertation on UV irradiation of airborne bacteria at the University of Bonn in Germany under the supervision of doctorate advisor Prof. Dr. Edgar Thofern. In Kiel Prof. Fritz Baade de:Fritz Baade was his mentor. He was also influenced by and later became the physician of Celal Bayar and Samed Ağaoğlu, both imprisoned with his father after the 1960 Turkish coup d'état. He worked with Prof. Bohle on Nephropathology in Tübingen and received his degrees in Internal Medicine and Nephrology while at the Lübeck medical faculty.

He is the founder of Biosan outpatient clinic in 1986, a Turco-Germanic joint venture pioneering in extracorporeal kidney stone treatment, ESWL, in Istanbul and Izmir, Turkey. He remained active on the board of Biosan until 2000.

In 1990 Dr. Tolon was the first Turkish doctor to receive an invitation from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing because of his work on ESWL. In the 1990s he also worked on erosion with Prof. Agadjan Babayev [1] in the Turkmenian Academy of Sciences in Ashgabad.

He has been actively farming since 1992 in Manisa, Akhisar in the Aegean region of Turkey (olives, almonds). Mahmut Tolon currently lives in Urla (District), İzmir, near the ancient site of Limantepe-Klazomenai, teaches a post-graduate course on longevity and co-existence of cultures at Dokuz Eylül University, Izmir and lectures about evolution/Charles Darwin.

His works include:

- 2007 "Bias is Beautiful, or Swan Song for Common Sense" a compelling solution to help cultures come together and find answers to difficult global problems. Where he proposes a parental license and the right of one child for each human.

- 2004 Scientific work on fasting among others with Prof. Herman Chernoff.

- 1993 Poems von einem Gastarbeiter under the pseudonym B.N. Deniz, Germany

- 1993 Keçi ve Zina (Goat and adultery- Essays), Turkey

- 1975 the publication of Dr. Paul Ehrlich's bestseller The Population Bomb in Turkish.

- Various columns in Milliyet and Cumhuriyet

- Various international scientific articles, specifically about UV irradiation and extra-corporeal kidney and gallstone treatments.


A sarcophagus (plural sarcophagi) is a box-like funeral receptacle for a corpse, most commonly carved in stone, and usually displayed above ground, though it may also be buried. The word "sarcophagus" comes from the Greek σάρξ sarx meaning "flesh", and φαγεῖν phagein meaning "to eat"; hence sarcophagus means "flesh-eating", from the phrase lithos sarkophagos (λίθος σαρκοφάγος), "flesh-eating stone". The word also came to refer to a particular kind of limestone that was thought to rapidly facilitate the decomposition of the flesh of corpses contained within it due to the chemical properties of the limestone itself.

Stratonicea (Lydia)

Stratonicea – (Greek: Στρατoνικεια, or Στρατονίκεια) also transliterated as Stratoniceia and Stratonikeia, earlier Indi, and later for a time Hadrianapolis – was an ancient city in the valley of the Caicus river, between Germe and Acrasus, in Lydia, Anatolia; its site is currently near the village of Siledik, in the district of Kırkağaç, Manisa Province, in the Aegean Region of Turkey.

The Affecter

The Affecter (or The Affected Painter) was an Attic black-figure vase painter, active in Athens around 550 to 530 BCE.His conventional name (his real name being unknown today, as none of his works are signed) is derived from his artificial affected style of figural painting, on the basis of which about 135 vases can be ascribed to him. He was active as both potter and painter. His speciality was amphorae. He mainly painted ovoid amphorae and belly amphorae, of the then newly introduced type C. Most of the 132 vases associated with him were found in Etruscan tombs and as such are usually well preserved.

He was interested particularly in the decorative effect of his images, composed of stylised figures in long cloaks or with affected gestures; narrative content was secondary. In his tendency to formulaic figures and multiple details, the Affecter is a successor to the Amasis Painter, from whom he may have learnt his trade. Together with the painter Elbows Out, he is considered to be a mannerist of the black-figure style.

His images often seem to reflect a surreal world. His figures usually have small heads and seemingly upholstered bodies, when clothed, or angular pointed ones, when naked. His ornaments are very carefully drawn. He often decorated garments with coloured dots. His ornaments seem closely related to those of East Greek workshops, such as the Klazomenai Group or the Northampton Group, indicating regular cultural exchange between Attica and Ionia. A special feature of his amphorae is the replacement of the usual figural decoration on the neck by vegetal ornaments.

Timeline of ancient Greece

This is a timeline of Ancient Greece from its emergence around 800 BC to its subjection to the Roman Empire in 146 BC.

For earlier times, see Greek Dark Ages, Aegean civilizations and Mycenaean Greece. For later times see Roman Greece, Byzantine Empire and Ottoman Greece.

For modern Greece after 1820, see Timeline of modern Greek history.


Tiribazus, Tiribazos or Teribazus (c.440 BC-370 BC) was a Persian general and Persian satrap of Western Armenia and later satrap of Lydia in western Anatolia.

Urla, İzmir

Urla (Greek: Βουρλά, Vourlá) is a town and the center of the district of the same name in İzmir Province, in Turkey. The district center is located in the middle of the isthmus of a small peninsula which protrudes northwards in the Gulf of İzmir and which carries the same name as the town (Urla Peninsula), but its urban tissue is comparatively loose and extends eastwards to touch the coast and to cover a wide area which also includes a large portion of the peninsula. Sizable parts in the municipal area, owned by absentee landlords, remain uninhabited or are very rural in aspect. The peninsular coastline present a number of compounds constituted by seasonal residences along the beaches and the coves and which are administratively divided between Urla center's municipal area or its depending villages.

Urla district area's eastern end neighbors the westernmost district of the Greater Metropolitan Area of İzmir, Güzelbahçe, and urbanization is much denser across that part, contributing to the whole district's average urbanization rate of 75%. With İzmir center (Konak) at a distance of only 35 km (22 mi), an important part of Urla's population is composed of residents, often wealthy, who commute to the big city every day, access to and from İzmir and Çeşme, an international center of tourism at a distance of 45 km (28 mi) from Urla, having been greatly facilitated by the building of a six-lane highway. Urla district nevertheless manages to preserve an overall outlook of a pleasant suburb and resort, and as it extends to the west along Karaburun Peninsula, where it borders on the districts of Çeşme and Karaburun, secondary residences built along the coast or large farms of the interior, as well as native villages, all bearing typical Aegean characteristics, increase in number. To the south, Urla district neighbors that of Seferihisar and the settlement pattern is thinner in that section, with even some empty land, although housing projects targeting İzmir's professional classes start to show a rising interest for that section as well. In economic terms, agricultural products, and especially the fresh produce for the vast nearby market of İzmir, occupy a prominent place in Urla's economy, with fish, poultry and flowers standing out.

An international Artichoke Festival is celebrated since 2015

The name "Urla" is derived from the Greek Βουρλά ("Vourla") meaning marshlands and the town was cited as such in western sources until the 20th century. Bryela (Byzantine name meaning Woman of God i.e. Holy Maria) whereas it has been suggested that due to the transposition of vowels Bryela has become Vourla, meaning marshlands. Urla is where the ancient city of Klazomenai is located and its remains are much visited, while the name lives on in the unofficial appellation used in the region for part of the coastline of the district, "Kilizman" which is a still-used derivative of Klazomenai. (Former name of Güzelbahçe). With literacy among the highest in Turkey at 97%, Urla is also home to İzmir Institute of Technology. Urla prides itself for having raised two important men of letters, Giorgos Seferis and Necati Cumalı.

Black Sea
Central Anatolia
Eastern Anatolia


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