11 August 2009 /TODAY'S ZAMAN WITH WIRES
Inscriptions revealing complaints about high taxes from 1,700 years ago have been found during the excavation of the ancient city of Rhodiapolis in Antalya's Kumluca district.
The excavation was started by Professor Nevzat Çevik, head of the archaeology department in Akdeniz University's faculty of science and literature, and led this year by Assistant Professor İsa Kızgut. Kızgut told the Anatolia news agency that they made interesting discoveries concerning the social life of the people of Rhodiapolis. Noting that one of the most interesting discoveries was an inscription, Kızgut said: “In addition to many historical artifacts, we uncovered some relics concerning the social life of the people during the excavation of the ancient city of Rhodiapolis. The most interesting among these relics was a tablet written by a messenger describing that the public was complaining of high taxes, that he was sent to the emperor to request a discount and that he was promised that taxes would be lowered. We have an inscription written on a stone and erected as a stele in the agora. When we consider that people wanted sales tax and income tax rates to be lowered, we can infer that toward the A.D. third century the people of Rhodiapolis could not pay their taxes.”
Noting that the people of Rhodiapolis wanted Roman Emperor Septimius Severus to lower taxes, Kızgut said: “The emperor gave the green light and promised the messenger that taxes would be lowered. Upon his return to Rhodiapolis, the messenger informed the leader with great joy, and in honor of the messenger, an inscribed stele was erected in the agora.”