The filtering news of a possible Minoan harbour being located just below the sea-level off of Tavşan Adası (Rabbit Island) near Didim has created a rush of interest both locally and from my colleagues across Europe. It has long been known of a Minoan connection with Miletus region because of the datable pottery found in the vicinity of the city. Also, the etymology of the name ‘Miletus’ is, of course, an Hellenic name in the Ionic dialect, in the Doric dialect it spelt slightly differently, Milatos. This is believed to refer to an ancient city of the same name on the island we know today as Crete. Crete was home to the Minoan people whom were named after the legendary King Minos. Hittite documents, an Anatolian people contemporary with the Minoans, refer to the city as Millavanda.
It has all been rather quiet on the Didyma archaeological front this year. The Covid virus has prevented the team from the German Archaeological Institute from arriving this year.
There was some initial hope that their usual August date for arrival would be possible, but then I received word that September was pencilled in, though in their continued absence it is evident that this month, too, was not considered tenable. It is a pity as I particularly wanted to speak to the Director of Excavations on a number of topics.
Each great metropolis should have its own grand avenue that would form not only the main axis of the transportation but also a space where great events and processions can be celebrated. It was also the case of ancient Constantinople with its Mese, from the Greek word "Middle". It connected the very centre of the city, starting at the Milion monument, the zero-mile marker for the East Roman Empire, very close to Hagia Sophia. The Mese then followed in a perfectly straight line in the westward direction, connecting the main forums of the city, first the Forum of Constantine, next to the Forum of Theodosius, and then branching off in two directions.
Arcadiane Street is a colonnaded road, named after Emperor Arcadius, who reigned between 395 and 408 CE. However, this name is misleading, because there is strong evidence for the existence of this street in the much earlier Hellenistic period, at least from the 1st century BCE. This theory is supported by exposed fragments and foundations of the Harbour Gate, located on the axis of the road at its western end. Arcadius only rebuild the earlier road after a series of earthquakes, raising its level.
September 2020 brought some amazing archaeological discoveries from the area of Turkey. The excavations continued at Hadrian's Temple in Kyzikos, in the ancient city of Satala, and Dara in the southeastern province of Mardin where a water cistern was discovered. Moreover, 2,000-year-old rock tombs were found in the Kizilkoyun Necropolis area of Şanlıurfa while a terracotta mask dating back nearly 2,400 years was found during the excavations in Daskyleion. Sadly, the installation of air conditioners on the walls of the 1300-year-old Hirami Ahmed Pasha mosque in Istanbul rose much controversy and bad news reached us from Nilüfer district of the northwestern province of Bursa where St. Georgios Church collapsed down due to lack of care for the last seven years.
Turkish Archaeological News collects the most important, interesting and inspiring news from Turkish excavation sites. Here's the review for September 2020. Have we missed anything? Let us know by using Contact tab!