Sardis was important settlement for humanity. First ever coined-money was minted here in 7th century B.C. City rulers found gold in the passing by river Pactalus. At the beginning, coins were electrum, an alloy of gold and silver. Then in the time of Croesus, pure gold and pure silver coins were minted. Today we still have the ancient saying of “rich as Croesus”.

Sardis was the capital of Lydian Kingdom and Lydian kings ruled western half of Anatolia. Persian Empire invaded the Lydian Kingdom and Sardis in 546 B.C. and it became the capital of satrap (governor) of the province.

The Temple of Artemis is the most important structure in the site. The Lydian Altar had alterations in Hellenistic and Roman periods. It is believed that it was originally dedicated to the Anatolian Mother Goddess Kybele and because of the Hellenization of the town, it was dedicated to Artemis. There is also a church built in Christian periods in 4th century A.D.

The site has the reconstructions of Roman gymnasium and synagogue. The latter show that there was a big and politically active Jewish community in Sardis in Roman period.

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