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Izmir’s history goes back to 3000 B.C. according to the results of historical knowledge and archaeological excavations. Findings and many investigations have been made to enlighten Izmir’s history: The continuous excavations on the Bayrakli ridges by Prof. Dr. Ekrem Akurgal since 1959, the discovery of the Zeus Altar by the German archaeologist Carl Humman in Pergamon (Bergama) between 1866 and 1878, the discovery of the Artemis Temple in 1869 by the British Wood and the continuous excavations by Austrian archaeologists at certain intervals of the city of ancient Ephesus since 1904. Also many researchers in different universities are still investigating on the city’s historical development.
Many legends are known about the derivation of the name of Izmir. According to the knowledge acquired from scientific studies the word "IZMIR" came from Smyrna in the ancient Ionian dialect and it was written as Smyrna in the Attican (around Athens) dialect. The word Smyrna was not Greek, it came from Anatolian root like many other names in the Aegean Region from the texts belonging to 2000 B.C. in the Kültepe settlement in Kayseri, a place called Tismyrna was come across and the (Ti) at the beginning was omitted and the city was pronounced as Smyrna. So the city was called Smyrna the early years of 3000 B.C. or late 1800 B.C. In the Turkish era the city was called Izmir.
Today, Izmir is the third largest city of Turkey with a population of 3,739,353 (as of December 2007). Besides the city, there are several small towns and holiday resorts around Izmir such as Foca, Cesme, Seferihisar, Teos, Urla, Gumuldur.