Historical town of Kemaliye and the Medieval churches and monasteries of Midyat and Tur Abdin plateau added to UNESCO Tentative List

Two more historical assets from the area of Turkey have been submitted to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List in April 2021. The first one is the town of Kemaliye in Eastern Anatolia and the second one is the city of Midyat and its numerous Medieval churches and monasteries.

Monastery of Mor Gabriel
Monastery of Mor Gabriel

April 2021 in Turkish archaeology

April 2021 brought alarming news concerning the state of the ancient city of Assos where the rock fragments fell onto the road to the ancient harbour. Also, the historical rock tombs in the ancient city of Kaunos are under the threat of extinction, losing their structural integrity due to the deterioration of rocks. Meanwhile, thirty graves were unearthed in a basilica church in the ancient city of Kibyra and a monastery built in the Roman period and a nearly 1500-year-old mosaic were discovered in Aliağa.

Ruins of Assos on the slope facing the sea
Ruins of Assos on the slope facing the sea

Theatre of Dreams or Illusion

Nestling upon the shores of the Aegean some two hours drive south of Izmir one can find the site of the second most important Oracle active during the Archaic and Hellenistic Eras; the Temple of Apollo in ancient Didyma. Indeed, this area was purported to be a sacred place devoted to Apollo even before the Greek colonization c.800 BCE.

Text and photos by Glenn Maffia

Suggested "amphitheatre" in Didim
Suggested "amphitheatre" in Didim

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Byzantine Secrets of Istanbul - now available

Byzantine Secrets of Istanbul

We are happy to announce the publication of the new book Byzantine Secrets of Istanbul devoted to the little known historical monuments of Istanbul from the times of the Byzantine Empire. The book is now available on Amazon in the paperback version and as the Kindle e-book. Additionally, it is possible to purchase the e-book version from Google Play.

About the book

Byzantine Secrets of Istanbul is the book that tells the stories about a dozen of less-known historical structures located in Istanbul from the times when this city, as Constantinople, was the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. My ambition as the author was not to describe the most famous of these buildings, such as the great Basilica of Hagia Sophia or the Basilica Cistern. These objects are the main tourist attractions and as such are visited by thousands of travellers daily. Moreover, possibly too many books about them have already been published.

Byzantine Secrets of Istanbul
Byzantine Secrets of Istanbul

March 2021 in Turkish archaeology

The beginning of March 2021 brought sad news as George Bass, who played a critical role in the creation and evolution of underwater archaeology as a scientific discipline, died on March 2. Then, the remains of an ancient port in Turkey’s southern province of Mersin’s Mezitli district have come to light due to the receding water levels. Also, many renovation projects were announces, including the Temple of Zeus in Euromos and the ancient structures at Aizanoi. Finally, at the end of the month, it was announced that the ancient city walls of Hadrianapolis in Edirne were declared as a first-degree archeological site.

Macedonian Tower and ancient fortifications of Adrianopolis in Edirne
Macedonian Tower and ancient fortifications of Adrianopolis in Edirne

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