Text by our correspondent from Didyma, Glenn Maffia
I have often pondered upon the thought that the establishment of a visitor centre and museum, displaying artefacts recovered from the Temple of Apollo, and the adjacent area, would be a significant complement to the magnificent landmark(s) of ancient Didyma. As of now, the antiquities from the Didyma environment have been dispersed far and wide, though some remain at the nearby Miletus Museum.
Aphrodisias Museum, which was opened in 1979, is one of the most fascinating venues of its kind in the area of Turkey. Its main exhibits are the marble works made in the ancient period, from the 1st century BCE to the 5th century CE, by the local sculptors.
The ruins of ancient Aphrodisias, located in the vicinity of the modern village of Geyre, meet almost all the conditions necessary for a given place to become a tourist hit. There are wonderfully preserved remains of ancient buildings, a modern museum with interesting exhibits, and infrastructure necessary for visitors in the form of restaurants and shops. This valuable archaeological site was also included on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2017.
The archaeological site of Oluz Höyük, located near the village of Gözlek, in the Çekerek river valley (called Zuliya in the Hittite times, and Skylax in the classical antiquity), is located on the fertile Gelgiden plain. The Oluz Höyük mound, almost circular in its horizontal cross-section, rises 15 meters above the plain. It is a significant site where five major cultural layers have been identified during archaeological work.
The ancient city called Comana Pontica (Greek: Κόμανα Ποντική) belonged to the kingdom of Pontus. Located on the Iris River (now Yeşilırmak), it was therefore of strategic commercial importance. Comana Pontica is classified by scholars as one of the so-called "temple states". These temples were distinguished from other religious buildings by their great independence. These were self-governing units, with their own authorities, subordinate territories, and sources of revenue.