Turkish Archaeological News collects the most important, interesting and inspiring news from Turkish excavation sites. Here's the review for March 2016. Have we missed anything? Let us know by using Contact tab!
The ruins of a temple dedicated to Apollo, "Lord of Mice" Smintheus, are located in a quiet village of Gülpınar on Biga Peninsula. Why did one of the gods of the Greek pantheon earn the nickname associated with rodents, and why was his temple built in the Troad? There is no clear answer to these questions, but when searching for them it is necessary to start from the source, that is, from Homer.
The ancient site of Letoon lies 4 km south of Xanthos and was the leading Lycian religious center. The principal deities of ancient Lycia were Leto and her twin offspring, Artemis and Apollo. Letoon was a sacred cult center and venue for Lycian national festivals, administered by Xanthos rather than a city in its own right. It was also the assembly place for the Lycian League.
Babakale is a small village, which lies on the south-western tip of Troad, at the foot of an Ottoman fortress. You can get to the village only via a winding road that winds picturesquely among rocks formations and forested areas. The difficulties of the travel are soon rewarded with the views of the Aegean Sea, extending from the eighteenth-century fortifications. Babakale village has an extraordinary location at Cape Baba (tr. Bababurnu). This cape is the westernmost point of Asia Minor, and consequently - the whole of Asia. Its location is marked by a lighthouse, standing on the cliff above the sea.
The ancient site of Tlos is situated at the modern village of Yaka, 42 km east of Fethiye, and is a major tourist site located on a strategic hilltop in the upper Xanthus River valley. The site is dominated by its impressive ancient acropolis, a rocky outcrop rising from a plateau with steep cliffs covered with well-preserved rock-cut tombs. On top of the acropolis are the remains of an 19th century Ottoman citadel.
For thousands of years, the tale of Troy sung by Homer stimulated the imagination of adventurers and lovers of Greek myths. Even today many travelers, bearing in mind the first lines of the Iliad, direct their steps in the direction of Troy, located in the region of Marmara Sea in the north-western part of Turkey. However, many of them will be utterly disappointed. Unfortunately, the remains of the once magnificent fortress of King Priam do not have much to offer the tourists, compared with the impressive streets of ancient Ephesus, a great theater of Aspendos, or a spectacular stadium of Aphrodisias. Therefore, when visiting Troy, it is best to keep in mind the magic of the mythical place, praised by Homer, and not the current state of its ruins.
The ancient site of Magnesia on the Meander, located 19 km of Ephesus and 24 km of Miletus, lies on a major road which cuts through the site. Magnesia is situated on the banks of the Lethacus River, a small tributary of the Meander River upstream from Ephesus.
The ruins of the ancient city of Assos are situated on a rocky hill, on the coast of the Aegean Sea. Tuzla river (in ancient times known as Satnoieis) flows to the north of Assos. The remains of the ancient settlement are located on the territory of modern Turkish village and holiday resort of Behramkale.
The ancient city of Labraunda was already important in early ancient times. Indeed, already Herodotus mentions the city in his Histories: "[...] The Persian Daurises made the settlements on the Hellespont his target and captured Dardanus, Abydus, Percote, Lampsacus and Paesus, each in a single day. As he was “en route” for Parium, after leaving Paesus, he received a message to the effect that Caria had joined in the Ionian rebellion against Persia, so he turned away from the Hellespont and marched his men in 497 BCE towards Caria.