An exciting new development on the flooding of the southeast corner of the Temple’s precinct in Didim unfolded during late August and early September. I had spent many hours wandering around the site taking numerous photographs and obtaining measurements of the depth of the water. These were then relayed to my European contacts, which in turn were passed by them to specialists in the disciplines of geoarchaeology and hydrogeology. It wasn’t long before I received an answer which set me aflame with imagination and sheer delight.
August 2018 brought an impressive number of archaeological discoveries in the area of Turkey. Among the most notable ones were: the Hellenistic tombs in Euromos, the skull bearing the traces of surgery from Aşıklı Mound in Cappadocia, and the remains of a Roman-era military observation tower in Adıyaman province. Moreover, the amphitheatre of ancient Pergamon was announced to be unearthed, and Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality revealed the plans for the restoration of Boukoleon Palace.
From high expectations, my dreams fell upon that bleak reality that archaeology does not always deliver the promises formulated within the imagination. I guess that is just the ground we are working on, where disappointments are required to savour that sweetness that comes with an exhilarating find. And to be fair, here in Didim the archaeologists have been unearthing those exciting finds in abundance over the past decade. Snippets of information can also be gleaned from an anti-climax, which adds breadth to the reconstruction which is being attempted.
Last week's news of the corporate dinner party enacted at the Temple of Apollo produced a scything criticism from those whom I know here in Didim. Certainly, that was most welcoming to learn that we truly do have people in this town who have high regard for our magnificent temple and the sanctity of our historical past. Such regard may not be so forthcoming in many areas of our town, from all levels of this society. Though this I feel is primarily due to a lack of education upon the subject.
I am desperately trying to withhold my boiling anger at this moment, for if I were to vent my spleen, it would serve no purpose. And my purpose is to enlighten some minds which reside within a twilight world of dimness.
The dinner party for members of a company called Koç Holdings in the Pronaos of the Temple of Apollo must be, to any person possessing a sensibility, anathema. Whilst the hoisting in of a Grand Piano by a heavy-duty crane which is contrary to the, albeit rather liquid, regulations in place which define this area as a protected status, is tantamount to silly.
Here we have one of the greatest and most famous of ancient structures, one that would have been on the list of the Ancient Wonders of the World if only it were fully completed, hired out to a commercial company. 'Aghast' is probably the least offensive of the words I could summon at this point.