Waxing lyrical from esoteric heights

Text and photos by our correspondent from Didyma, Glenn Maffia.

There appears to be few pertinent ideas circulating within our present age, an age of mass media disseminating dogmatic ‘information’ across the political and financial arenas of this ever shrinking world.

I have noticed that conversations I overhear in public are generally in broad agreement with each other, as the kernel of that ‘news’ invariably arrives from the same source, albeit across possibly differing mediums. Such be today’s viral propagation.

This has also infected my sphere of interest; that of history, aesthetics and archaeology. I hope that you have the patience to tolerate me whilst I endeavour to redress the equilibrium to a level of sanity.

The 'streaming' sky above the Temple of Apollo in Didyma
The 'streaming' sky above the Temple of Apollo in Didyma

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Tourism gate-crashing culture through the backdoor

Text by our correspondent from Didyma, Glenn Maffia.

An article appeared in the Didim press a short while back, where the title rather intrigued me in respect that it suggested that the Temple of Apollo, at the very least, would be afforded some defence against the rampant exploitation of mass tourism.

Though, after absorbing the content, I was left utterly deflated in any lingering hope that those whom purport to care and tend to the protection of this site have any altruistic motivations whatsoever.

Photo of the surrounding area of the Temple of Apollo in Didyma taken in the late 60's/early 70's. The German built wall from 1906 and the mosque remain the same, but those buildings to the right have long gone. So much for authentic 'preservation'
Photo of the surrounding area of the Temple of Apollo in Didyma taken in the late 60's/early 70's. The German built wall from 1906 and the mosque remain the same, but those buildings to the right have long gone. So much for authentic 'preservation'

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October 2022 in Turkish archaeology

Although October 2022 was a relatively quiet month when it comes to archaeological news from Turkey, the end of this month brought a sensational announcement from the archaeologists working for the Austrian Academy of Sciences. They were able to uncover an early Byzantine business and gastronomy district in the centre of ancient Ephesus. It is the most important discovery in the city since the now famous Terrace Houses were found half a century ago. The newly excavated area, located next to Domitian Square, was suddenly destroyed in 614/615 CE. All the household goods in the rooms were sealed by a thick burnt layer and thus preserved for posterity, making it possible to get unique snapshots of ancient life.

Domitian Square in Ephesus
Domitian Square in Ephesus

The truth stands, it doesn’t lie

Text by our correspondent from Didyma, Glenn Maffia.

A rather curious snippet of information came to my attention recently, whereby I learnt that a scurrilous rumour is circulating that the three standing columns at the Temple of Apollo here in Didyma are recent reconstructions.

I found that quite laughable, though then realised that these ill-informed pieces of nonsense could impair people’s judgement of this most magnificent site. That perplexed me somewhat and therefore I decided to counter these malicious erroneous deceits with solid evidence; both from literary sources and pictorial.

The temple of Apollo in Didyma and its three standing columns today
The temple of Apollo in Didyma and its three standing columns today

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September 2022 in Turkish archaeology

September 2022 marked the 116th anniversary of the archaeological excavations in Hattusha, once the capital of the Hittite Empire. An 8,200-year-old temple structure was found during the 30th excavation season of the excavations at another major archaeological site in the area of Asia Minor, Çatalhöyük. Moreover, in the famous ancient city of Troy, the remains of a 3,700-year-old domed oven bearing the characteristics of Anatolian culture were discovered. Finally, during the excavations carried out in Bergama (ancient Pergamon), the tomb of the Priest Markos was unearthed.

Hattusa and its reconstructed fortifications
Hattusa and its reconstructed fortifications

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