Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Two millenia old Aizanoi rousing Istanbul bourse

The proud bearer of the title of the world's first stock replace, the ancient city of Aizanoi in Kutahya has become a source of inspiration in the promotions for the Istanbul Stock Exchange, which newly became Borsa Istanbul
Turkey's newly formed Borsa Istanbul (BIST) might be experiencing a period of effervescence as it bursts onto the world financial scene, but its roots go back much further than its immediate forerunner, the Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB). The inspiration for the bourse goes all the way back to antiquity and the world's ";oldest stock exchange," Aizanoi in present-day Kutahya.

Aizanoi, which is located in the inner Aegean province's Cavdarhisar district, is now being used in the promotions for BIST, a recent amalgamation of the IMKB and the Istanbul Gold Exchange.

Archaeologists working at the site in 1971 discovered inscriptions indicating the existence of a stock exchange during the Roman era. According to the inscriptions, a slave's price was equal to a donkey, while a horse was worth three slaves.

Notably, a round-shaped structure dating back to the second century A.D. contains a copy of a paper from Emperor Diocletian that was written in 301 A.D. that outlined regulations on sales prices for goods in the market. Because of the document, many have claimed that Aizanoi possessed the world's first stock market in its Macellum building.

The head of the Aizanoi excavations, Pamukkale University Assistant Professor Elif Ozer, said the world's first stock exchange was one of the most important structures in the ancient city. She said the round structures and inscriptions in the Macellum area, known as the stock exchange building, had become a current issue during works for BIST and had drawn the attention of brokers, bankers and investors.
Dating back to 3,000 BC
Aizanoi is 57 kilometers away from the provincial center of Kutahya and is known as the second Ephesus thanks to its 20,000-person-capacity amphitheater, 13,500-person-capacity stadium, a bath, a street with pillars, a necropolis and the world's first stock exchange.

The name ";Aizanoi" comes from the mythological hero ";Azan," while the city is believed to date back to 3000 B.C. During the Hellenistic era, Aizanoi was seized by the Pergamon Kingdom and Bithynia from time to time. The city later fell under Roman rule but gradually declined in importance in the early Byzantine era.

German archaeologists had been conducting excavations in the ancient city since 1970, but the dig was transferred to the control of Denizli's Pamukkale University in 2011.

For more interesting topics related to archaeology, visit archaeology excavations.

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