THE discovery of an ancient Greek brothel in a southern Turkish province has left excavators with a funding shortfall after prudish sponsors pulled out.
After finding the ruins of the brothel at Side, once home to a Hellenistic city dating back to the 7th Century BC in Antalya, the team claim they have no other option than to grind work to a halt after sponsors pulled out.
"When those who are thinking about sponsoring us ask about the purpose of the structure in ancient times, they change their minds when we say it was a 'love house' [brothel] or a 'toilet'," said Huseyin Sabri Alanyali, the archaeologist who is heading a team of 60 experts at the site.
A "drastic" funding cut from the culture and tourism industry means that Alanyali’s team will wrap up work on the site on August 15, the Dogan news agency reported the archeologist as saying. An English version of the article was carried by the local Hurriyet newspaper.
Despite the discovery of the risqué structure threatening to throw the project off course, the dig team has big plans to continue with their work on the ancient city.
If new funds are made available, Alanyali hopes to "revive a sleeping giant that dates back thousands of years" by unearthing the temples of Apollo and Athena and a basilica nearby.
Excavation works at Side date back to 1967, although excavations only began again in 2009.