When travelers visit the south-eastern Anatolian province of Mardin, they usually feel that they need to see just one place - the capital of the province. Meanwhile, in the area there are relatively little known but very interesting ruins of the ancient city of Dara. In the early Byzantine times, Dara was an important fortress, located in northern Mesopotamia, near the border with the Persian Sassanid Empire. Because of this strategic location, in the 6th century AD Dara witnessed many military conflicts, of which the most important was the famous Battle of Dara, fought in 530 AD. So if you get to Mardin, then try also to go to Dara, and certainly you will not regret this trip.
The ruins of the Ionian city of Priene are picturesquely situated on a slope of Mykale mountain. They provide a spectacular lookout point over the plain where the river Meander winds its way to the Aegean Sea. Priene also offers an excellent practical lesson in archeology and history. The main conclusion of the visit in Priene, combined with a cursory reading of literature devoted to this city, is: nothing here is obvious. The original name of the city was, Kadme, it was founded by Karians, and it was situated in a different location on the shores of the Aegean Sea.
The building now known as the Broken Minaret (tr. Kesik Minare) hides more secrets that one might have expected. This characteristic structure of an actually broken minaret belongs to the ruined Korkut Mosque (tr. Korkut Camii). The history of this building is an excellent illustration that offers a better understanding of the turbulent history of Antalya.
Just a short walk from the most famous churches in Göreme open-air museum stands the forgotten church of the Evil Eye. It has been beautifully restored and is now guarded by a custodian who adapted a nearby rock into a stone house. A visit to the church is a nice respite from the crowds, and at the same time - an opportunity to see wonderful Byzantine frescoes. Here, nobody will pay attention as you take a few photos, but remember that the flashlight is harmful to these 10-century-old works of art.
Turkish Archaeological News collects the most important, interesting and inspiring news from Turkish excavation sites. Here's the review for October 2015. Have we missed anything? Let us know by using Contact tab!