Antioch’s Hatay airport is closed, biblically flooded. Instead we fly in to macho, meat-loving Adana, Turkey’s very own Texas, over vast brown and green fields of cotton and tobacco. This detour affords us an overnight stay in Tarsus, birthplace of Saint Paul, and the site of Anthony and Cleopatra’s first frolickings. Tarsus has been bypassed by a motorway more lately, so what was an important, thriving city 2,000 years ago is now a charming provincial backwater.
Read the rest of the story at Time travel in ancient Antioch, Turkey | Travel | The Guardian.
Story by Kevin Gould – The Guardian; Photo by James Dale – Wikicommons
Just outside the city of Istanbul, one of the world’s most important cities when it was known as Constantinople during the Byzantine Empire has uncovered an amazing discovery. Droughts in 2007 led archeologists to search through the waters of Lake Kucukcekmece and have found what they believe is a lost Roman city that could have been a getaway town for Constantinople’s elite. Jennifer Pinkowski of the New York Times reports on the latest archeological findings.
For 1,600 years, this city — Turkey’s largest — has been built and destroyed, erected and erased, as layer upon layer of life has thrived on its seven hills.
Today, Istanbul is a city of 13 million, spread far beyond those hills. And on a long-farmed peninsula jutting into Lake Kucukcekmece, 13 miles west of the city center, archaeologists have made an extraordinary find.
The find is Bathonea, a substantial harbor town dating from the second century B.C. Discovered in 2007 after a drought lowered the lake’s water table, it has been yielding a trove of relics from the fourth to the sixth centuries A.D., a period that parallels Istanbul’s founding and its rise as Constantinople, a seat of power for three successive empires — the Eastern Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman.
Read more of the article at After Being Stricken by Drought, Istanbul Yields Ancient Treasure – New York Times
Turkey has some of the best preserved ancient sites in the world, Annabel Simms of The Telegraph writes about the top locations.
Here, Britannia is shown as a bare-breasted barbarian woman (Boadicea?) lying at the feet of an immensely idealised and youthful Emperor Claudius. This is just one among the many other savage tribes in a series of sculptured reliefs dating from around AD80 showing the size and reach of the Pax Romana – and the extent to which the local Greek dignitaries had bought into Roman values.
Another group of symbolic statues, one covered by the billowing cloak of night, rams home the message: this is the empire on which the sun never sets.
Read More at Turkey’s best ancient sites – Telegraph
Located in Southwest Turkey, the Gobekli Tepe was discovered in 1964 as the team of archeologists believed the formations could not be natural. After 47 years, only a small portion of the site has been excavated but many questions remain unanswered. Professor Ted Banning believes the site was used more for everyday living than strictly for religious use. Martin Robinson of the Daily Mail reports about these new claims.
But a scientist has claimed that the Gobekli Tepe stones in Turkey, built in 9,000 BC and 6,500 years older than Stonehenge, could instead be a giant home ‘built for men not gods’.
Ted Banning, a professor at the University of Toronto, has branded it ‘one of the world’s biggest garbage dumps,’ with piles of animal bones, tools and charcoal found there proving that it was an ancient home rather than a religious site.
When excavation started at Gobekli Tepe in southern Turkey in 1994, archaeologists were sure it was a temple and largely uninhabited.
Remarkably it was deliberately buried under thousands of tonnes of soil and only a small amount of the 20-acre area has been excavated since its discovery.
The incredible site was put up long before humans mastered language or skills like pottery or metal work, making it one of the true wonders of the world pre-dating any previously discovered religious site by 1,000 years.
Read more of the article at Gobekli Tepe: ‘Temple that’s 6,500 years older than Stonehenge was a house’ | Mail Online.
The Greek Reporter provides details of a 2,000 year old road uncovered in Ancient Troy.
Professor Davut Kaplan, the leader of the excavations, stated that the discovery of this excavation was not too surprising, adding: “If we had carried out the excavation work with limited resources, we would have discovered only 5-10 meters of the whole road. Nevertheless, we have unearthed 45 meters of the road, before the excavations come to an end. We wish that the excavations would uncover the whole road.