Biblical City Of Tarsus: Excavations Reveal Its Secrets From Paul The Apostle’s Times

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An ancient road built using the polygonal technique has been accidentally discovered during drainage works conducted at an archaeological site in the southern province of Mersin’s historical Tarsus district.

Tarsus is a Turkish city 27 kilometers east of Mersin, best known as the birthplace of Paul the Apostle. This ancient city has a very long history.

Ruins of ancient Tarsus. Photo: D. Osseman library

Tarsus was the most important commercial port in the province of Cilicia since 2300 BC.

It was first ruled by the Hittites, then the Assyrians, then the Persian Empire. It was the seat of a Persian satrapy (which is a province or jurisdiction ruled by a Satrap (Persian governor) from 400 B.C. forward. Alexander the Great passed through Tarsus with his armies in 333 BC and nearly met his death here after a bath in the Cydnus.

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