<p><strong>The second-century Roman ruins at the city of Allianoi once stood tall under the blue <a id="b98v" title="Turkish" href="http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/countries/turkey-guide/">Turkish</a> sky, as seen in a file photo. But like the rest of the site's archaeological treasures, these structures are now covered back up with sand. </strong></p><p>Discovered in 1998 and only partially excavated, the nearly 2,000-year-old city of Allianoi was home to baths and natural springs favored by the Romans for their health benefits. (See related <a id="nu6y" title="pictures of King Herod's royal theater box excavated in the West Bank" href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/10/photogalleries/101013-king-herod-royal-theater-box-vip-science-pictures/">pictures of King Herod's royal theater box, recently excavated in the West Bank</a>.)</p><p>Today, however, the well-preserved ruins lie in the path of a proposed dam that would flood the region to create an artificial reservoir. The Yortanli Dam will provide water for thousands of acres of agricultural land, and farmers living near Turkey's Aegean coast strongly support the project.</p><p>Turkish officials say that covering Allianoi with sand before the flooding will protect the site for the future, and earlier this month teams completed the reburial. But the dam project is still being challenged, both in the courts and among conservationists and other opponents.</p><p><em>—Brian Handwerk</em></p>

Spa in Ruins

The second-century Roman ruins at the city of Allianoi once stood tall under the blue Turkish sky, as seen in a file photo. But like the rest of the site's archaeological treasures, these structures are now covered back up with sand.

Discovered in 1998 and only partially excavated, the nearly 2,000-year-old city of Allianoi was home to baths and natural springs favored by the Romans for their health benefits. (See related pictures of King Herod's royal theater box, recently excavated in the West Bank.)

Today, however, the well-preserved ruins lie in the path of a proposed dam that would flood the region to create an artificial reservoir. The Yortanli Dam will provide water for thousands of acres of agricultural land, and farmers living near Turkey's Aegean coast strongly support the project.

Turkish officials say that covering Allianoi with sand before the flooding will protect the site for the future, and earlier this month teams completed the reburial. But the dam project is still being challenged, both in the courts and among conservationists and other opponents.

—Brian Handwerk

Photograph by Manoocher, National Geographic

Pictures: Ancient Roman Spa City Reburied in Turkey

A well-preserved, almost 2,000-year-old Roman spa city has been reburied as part of a Turkish dam project that's triggered a flood of controversy.

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