In June 2019, the Blachernae Palace Complex restoration was completed, and the venue welcomed the first visitors. Among them were the members of the Turkish Archaeological News team, who visited Istanbul just at that time. Our verdict on the outcome of the renovation? Very impressive results, but there are several improvements needed, including the clean-up of the surroundings.
When visiting Didyma’s Temple of Apollo and its equally fascinating surroundings it is quite easy to get lost in the grandeur of the massive structure as a whole, while missing the delicate embellishments which give this place its unique architectural sound.
The discovery of the mound, now called Tepecik Höyük, has revolutionized the knowledge about the presence of the Hittites in the western part of Anatolia. The mound itself is still being excavated by archaeological teams, but information about it is not very widespread outside of Turkey, nor is its location indicated in the maps of the country. We came across it entirely by accident in 2013, encouraged by a signpost in the town of Çine.
The biggest news in May 2019 was the reopening of the famous Sümela Monastery in northern Turkey, after an extensive restoration. Moreover, Uzunyuva Monumental Tomb Archaeology Park in the western province of Muğla was also opened again. The roof of the Istanbul's major landmark - the Grand Bazaar was repaired. The archaeologists started the excavations in Blaundus and the Hittite hieroglyphs were unexpectedly found in a barn in Cappadocia.
I was recently fortunate enough to be invited into the Temple precinct by one of the archaeologists after the area was closed to the public. Deep into the reaches of night the entire ambience was transformed into a hauntingly beautiful spectacle. No sound from the lively nightlife of the surrounding cafés penetrated into precinct and my imagination took flight.