It was at this time last year that I had first heard, from a Turkish friend who works alongside the archaeologists, the whisper that the ‘small finds’ house, next to the Temple of Apollo precinct, was to have its contents moved to the Miletus Museum or the Excavation House in Didyma.
Upon inquiring as to why this should be necessary he told me that the house was to be opened to the public. Intriguing, but no great revelation therein. Though when he expanded his reasoning to reveal that this would be a prelude to the Sacred Road being reopened to the public my happiness reached euphoric levels.
It might seem that everything erected in Constantinople in the 5th and the 6th centuries was of colossal proportions: mainly regarding its public buildings and fortifications, but also the water supply system. The city, founded in the prominent and admirable location and surrounded by water lacked one crucial resource - a local supply of fresh water. Wells and small water sources at first met this need, but soon they could not meet the growing needs of the city's population.
It may seem that a city as rich in monuments as Istanbul stone bridges erected in Ottoman times should abound. Meanwhile, it turns out that it is very difficult to find examples of such Ottoman bridges near the historical centre of the city, as in fact, only one such structure has survived. This is the Bostancıbaşı Bridge, located in the Asian part of the city, in the Bostancı neighbourhood of the Kadıköy district.
In these times, difficult for many of us, every initiative that enables visiting or revisiting museums and archaeological sites is of great importance and should be promoted. In the previous post devoted to this subject, we have shown you the possibility of the Virtual Tours of the Turkish Museums. Today, we want to invite you to watch the series of documentaries prepared by the Turkish Museums Channel. The first series is Excavation Sites in 5 Questions. In these films, the most famous and important archaeological sites located in Turkey are presented by the scholars who are the heads of the excavations. The films are either in English or have English subtitles.
My feelings are probably dismissive of the gravity of this pandemic we continue to ease free from, though I certainly have sorely missed my usual visits to the Temple of Apollo. A small window of opportunity offered itself recently and was hungrily devoured. Nothing much has changed upon the archaeological site; the columns still stand proud as sentinels, the marble continues to dazzle beneath a sun-filled sky, the groundwater steadily dribbles into the southeast section, the reeds growing in abundance, and the Sacred Road remains firmly shut to any inquisitive mind.