Ambitions to be met

Text by our correspondent from Didyma, Glenn Maffia.

My previous two articles have afforded me to espouse upon the relatively minor, inexpensive, tweaks to the appearance around the Temple of Apollo which shall enable visitors to better appreciate the elegant antique architecture that stands as a symbol to this growing vacation resort. Namely, clean the graffiti, smarten the surrounding abodes and secure the perimeter walls, whilst also officially opening the Sacred Road to the public.

Column base from the second temple in Didyma, now in the Excavation House. Photo credit: Glenn Maffia
Column base from the second temple in Didyma, now in the Excavation House. Photo credit: Glenn Maffia

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Milion of Constantinople

It is well known that all roads should lead to Rome, but when the capital of the Roman Empire was moved to Constantinople in the 4th century, this city also became the benchmark for measuring distances within the empire. While in Rome the role of the zero milestone was played by the Milliarium Aureum, or the Golden Milestone, in Constantinople it was assigned to the Milion. It was a monument from which all road distances to the cities of the Empire were measured. Nowadays, only very modest remains of this structure can be seen in Istanbul near the entrance to the famous Basilica Cistern.

This text is a fragment of a guidebook to Istanbul: "Byzantine Secrets of Istanbul".

Milion of Constantinople
Milion of Constantinople

March 2022 in Turkish archaeology

March 2022 brought the discovery of a Rhodes shipwreck from the 3rd century CE in the depths of the Gulf of Fethiye and a 2,500-year-old graffiti featuring 21 ships in the basement of the civil basilica of the Agora of Smyrna. Moreover, eighty percent of the restoration work of the Imperial Harem section of Topkapı Palace in Istanbul was announced and the new project of the restoration of the Serpent Column that stands on the Hippodrome of the Constantinople was initiated.

 Imperial Harem of Topkapı Palace in Istanbul
Imperial Harem of Topkapı Palace in Istanbul

Shall good fortune be fleeting?

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

My trustworthy observers were once again active last week within the vicinity of the Temple of Apollo. They reported that though the Sacred Road continues to be securely locked and bolted along its closest juncture to the temple a surprising touch of good fortune revealed itself when driving from Mavişehir into the centre of Didyma village (also known locally as Hisar or Yoran).

Sacred Road at the end of the field, Didyma
Sacred Road at the end of the field, Didyma

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Not much change to the writing on the wall

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

An ever vigilant friend messaged me last week to say that after meeting with some people close to the Temple of Apollo in Didyma she decided to walk home taking a route around the back of the Temple’s outer perimeter wall.

What she observed appalled her; sections of the fencing which top the walls had been ripped or weathered down, the ageing walls themselves (constructed in the early 1900s to deter the villagers from entering the active archaeological site) are in a sorry condition with some of the stones toppled during the last large earthquake in 2019, whilst the stones in the ‘hidden from the public’ areas have been blighted by that adolescent curse of daubing their names in spray paint. The site, therefore, is not secured in the slightest, and the sight of the spray paint an abomination to those who happen upon all this graffiti.

Graffiti on the perimeter wall of the Apollo Temple in Didyma
Graffiti on the perimeter wall of the Apollo Temple in Didyma

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