World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Eurymedon Bridge (Aspendos)

Article Id: WHEBN0020219648
Reproduction Date:

Title: Eurymedon Bridge (Aspendos)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Eurymedon Bridge (Selge), Penkalas Bridge, Bridge at Oinoanda, Pamphylia, Kömürhan Bridge
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Eurymedon Bridge (Aspendos)

Eurymedon Bridge (Aspendos)
The Seljuq-era bridge, seen from the southwest
Official name Köprüpazar Köprüsü
Crosses Eurymedon (Köprüçay)
Locale Aspendos, Pamphylia, Anatolia
Design Arch bridge
Material Stone, Roman concrete
Total length 259.50 m (Roman bridge)
Width 9.44 m (Roman bridge)
Longest span 23.52 m (Roman bridge)
Number of spans 9 (Roman bridge)
Opened 4th century (Roman bridge)
13th century (Seljuq bridge)
Eurymedon Bridge (Aspendos) is located in Turkey
Eurymedon Bridge (Aspendos)
Eurymedon Bridge (Aspendos)

The Eurymedon Bridge was a late Roman bridge over the river Eurymedon (modern Köprüçay), near Aspendos in Pamphylia in southern Anatolia. The foundations and several remnants (spolia) of the Roman structure were used by the Seljuqs to build a new bridge in the 13th century, the Köprüpazar Köprüsü, which stands to this day. The bridge is marked by a significant displacement of its course in the middle, following the ancient piers.

Roman bridge

Structure

The characteristic mid-course displacement

The shape and course of the Roman-era bridge have been reconstructed digitally, based on the still extant remains of the ancient structure: parts of the ramps, the abutments, as well as the foundation of a pier.[1] Several pieces of the original bridge were found scattered in the river bed and on both banks, but given the fact that they had been dislodged from their original position, they were not considered during the reconstruction.[1]

As reconstructed, the bridge had a length of 259.50 m and a width of 9.44 m, featuring nine semicircular arches.[2] It crossed the river at a straight angle, although its otherwise straight course bent slightly to the left on its right end.[1] The two ramps provide important information on the overall height of the structure. The gradient on both is similar (12.3% for the left, 12.2% for the right),[1] and on both ends, the slope ends already over the bank, before the main part of the bridge, which means that the level of the bridge itself remained constant, at a level c. 4.1 m higher than the later Seljuq structure.[3]

This middle section stood on six arches, complemented on the two banks by three smaller arches (one on the right and two on the left) which served as spillways in case the river overflowed.[4] At its normal level, the river flowed between the three central arches, constrained by double-wedge-shaped reinforcements of masonry, placed at the two outer pillars and intended to prevent their undermining by the river.[3] These masonry structures were - according to the archaeological record - markedly higher on the upstream side (8.15 m) than on the downstream (4.76 m).[2] In addition, wedge-shaped breakwaters were added on the piers, although not all piers feature them on both sides.[2] The clear spans of the three central arches have been determined at 23.52 m for the central arch and 14.95 m for the two flanking arches, while the two piers supporting the central arch were measured at 9.60 m.[2]

The gaps in the right end of the structure reveal the hollow chamber construction method of the bridge deck,[2] typical of several Roman bridges in Asia Minor, e.g. the Aesepus Bridge. The great height of the ancient structure is further verified by the discovery of 1.5 m long iron threaded rods, which, bound together with hooks and loops, were used to reinforce the masonry in the bridge's foundations.[5] The main body of the bridge was built using concrete, which survives in at least one Seljuq-era pier as a foundation.[6]

Dating

The pressure conduit of the Aspendos aqueduct

The exact date of the bridge's construction is uncertain. The date of construction is closely connected with the Aqueduct of Aspendos, parts of which were re-used in the bridge.[7] In the outer shell of the bridge alone, 250 pipe-shaped stones from the aqueduct's main pressure conduit were re-used.[1] Since the aqueduct has been known to have functioned until into the 4th century AD, that provides a terminus post quem for the construction of the Eurymedon bridge, although it is still possible that an earlier bridge already existed on this location.[1] This bridge could possibly have been destroyed in the large earthquake of May 363, which also ruined the aqueduct, thus explaining the use of the latter's duct stones in the rebuilding of the bridge.[8]

Seljuq bridge

Close-up of the zigzag course
Re-used duct stones

In the early 13th century, the Seljuq Sultan Kayqubad I (1219–1237) built a new bridge over the remains of the late antique structure,[9] which had collapsed, probably also because of an earthquake.[2] The Seljuq builders followed closely the course of the Roman remains, even in sections where the piers had been partly moved downstream from their original position; as a result, the Seljuq bridge features a quite sharp displacement.[10] This zigzag course, formed by two successive, 90 degree bends, in combination with the pointed arches give the Seljuq-era bridge an appearance that is quite distinct from that of its Roman precursor.[9]

The Seljuq bridge is also considerably reduced in dimensions, something that allowed the full use of the Roman remains. Thus, for instance, the reduction of the width to almost half the original made the integration of halfway surviving ancient piers possible.[9] The medieval arches were also 4.1 m lower than the Roman ones,[2] and the length of the bridge was shortened, so that the new bridge ramp began at the place where the Roman structure had already reached its final height level.[9]

The bridge is mainly constructed of stone blocks,[11] while parts of the antique structure have been reused, including the duct stones, which were built into the new ramp.[12] Restoration works in the late 1990s in the bridge's crumbling breastwork also revealed stone inscriptions in Greek and Arabic.[9]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f Grewe 1999, p. 7
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Grewe 1999, p. 10
  3. ^ a b Grewe 1999, pp. 9f.
  4. ^ Grewe 1999, p. 9
  5. ^ Grewe 1999, p. 3
  6. ^ Grewe 1999, p. 8
  7. ^ Grewe 1999, p. 2
  8. ^ Grewe 1999, p. 12
  9. ^ a b c d e Grewe 1999, p. 11
  10. ^ Grewe 1999, p. 1
  11. ^ Grewe 1999, Images 1, 2, 5, 7, 15, 16, 17, 18, 25
  12. ^ Grewe 1999, pp. 1f.

Sources

  • Grewe, Klaus (1999), "Im Zickzack-Kurs über den Fluß. Die römisch/seldschukische Eurymedon-Brücke von Aspendos (Türkei)", Antike Welt (in German) 30 (1): 1–12 

External links

Media related to at Wikimedia Commons

  • The Aspendos Aqueduct and the Roman-Seljuk Bridge Across the Eurymedon
This article incorporates information from the revision as of 2008-11-15 of the equivalent article on the Deutsch WorldHeritage.

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.