Turkey: Ancient city put up for sale

The coast around Bodrum Image copyright Wikimedia/Georges Jansoone
Image caption The site is just north of the popular holiday destination of Bodrum, on Turkey's Aegean coast

The remains of an ancient city have been put up for sale in Turkey, it's reported.

Bargylia, which dates back to the fifth century BC, is on the north of the Bodrum peninsula, a popular holiday spot. It's being advertised by a real estate agency just like a holiday home, although the site is protected from building work, the BirGun news website reports. The advert describes "a first degree archaeological site, facing the Bird Heaven Lake near Bogazici village, with full sea and lake view". Prospective buyers will need deep pockets - it's on the market for 22m Turkish liras ($9.6m; £6.3m). But those willing to splash out could find all sorts of treasures beneath the unexcavated ground. It's thought the site includes the remains of an amphitheatre, temple and Byzantine-era necropolis.

Archaeologists want the site and others like it to be bought by the government, to ensure they're properly looked after, but say the funding isn't available. "Private ownership of those sites is obstructing archaeological work," says Binnur Celebi from the Archaeologists Association. "However, the person or persons who acquire those sites can absolutely not conduct any construction activities." The site even comes with a bit of Greek mythology. It's said that the mythical hero Bellerophon named it after his friend Bargylos, who died after being kicked by the winged horse Pegasus.

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