November 2020 in Turkish archaeology

November of 2020 was definitely a month of many fascinating archaeological finds in the area of Turkey. Certainly, the most attention was drawn to the spectacular works at Karahan Tepe in Şanlıurfa Province where the discovered settlement that may be older than the prehistoric site of Göbeklitepe. However, many more great artefacts were found, including a bronze statue weighing 300 kg, drawn out of the water by fishermen from Marmaris. Meanwhile, burial chambers were found in Amida Mound situated at the heart of Diyarbakır along with a 1,800-year-old sewer system. Finally, the police forces were busy catching 2428 pieces of historical artefacts in Adana and uncovering an illegal dig at Aphrodisias where two 2,500-year-old sarcophagi were unearthed.

Sarcophagi exhibition at Aphrodisias
Sarcophagi exhibition at Aphrodisias

Curetes Street in Ephesus

Curetes Street is one of the main thoroughfares of Ephesus. It leads from the Library of Celsus to the Hercules Gate, extending along a northwest-southeast axis, in the saddle between the Panayir and Bülbül hills. Curetes Street can be considered the link between two main areas of Ephesus - the political and the commercial one. After leaving the Lower Agora, the walk uphill along this street takes the visitors to the vicinity of the Upper Agora, the political heart of ancient Ephesus. Its strategic location meant that Curetes Street's role was not only purely practical as the communication link between two parts of Ephesus. It was also a part of the processional route that was followed to celebrate the city's chief goddess, Artemis. Finally, similarly to the Arcadianne, Curetes Street played the role of an ostentatious boulevard, created to impress the visitors and show off the wealth of Ephesus.

This text is a fragment of a guidebook to Ephesus: "The Secrets of Ephesus".

Curetes Street in Ephesus
Curetes Street in Ephesus

Western Sanctuary of Troy

The temple complex of the Western Sanctuary was built during the Archaic period of ancient Greece, but the sanctuary was also used later, during the Hellenistic and Roman times, with some modifications. The visible remains of buildings of the Sanctuary date back to the period of Troy VIII and IX. They were erected on the ruins of earlier buildings of Troy VI and VII, perhaps also serving some religious purposes. The best-preserved structure is an altar of the so-called Lower Sanctuary. There are also several wells, which were used for the collection of the blood of sacrificial animals and drawing water.

This text is a fragment of a guidebook to Troy "The Secrets of Troy (TAN Travel Guide)".

Western Sanctuary of Troy
Western Sanctuary of Troy

Myrelaion Church - Bodrum Mosque

The building of the Byzantine church called Myrelaion, now known as the Bodrum Mosque or Mesih Pasha Mosque, is one of the inconspicuous buildings located in the neighbourhood of Laleli in Istanbul. Choked on three sides by ugly apartment buildings, it remains a modest reminder of the former palace complex of the same name. However, its unusual history is worth remembering as an excellent illustration of how confusing and twisted were fates of the inhabitants and the buildings of Constantinople.

Myrelaion Church - Bodrum Mosque
Myrelaion Church - Bodrum Mosque

Standing proud and true

Ancient Didyma rests upon the Aegean Coast of southwest Turkey merely 100km from the epicentre of the latest earthquake to cast its shadow of foreboding over this seismically volatile part of the world.

As an avid historian of the famous Temple of Apollo in Didyma, it will come as no surprise to know that I was early to the temple the day after the lethal 6.6 magnitude earthquake (Friday 30 October 2020) to inspect any damage that may have occurred to this unique structure of antiquity.

Text and photos by Glenn Maffia

Temple of Apollo in Didyma standing proud
Temple of Apollo in Didyma standing proud

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