I find myself here embarking on an adventure much dreamed about: an Indiana Jones-esque escapade digging up an ancient Roman city by the mediterranean coast in modern-day southern Turkey. It is pretty awesome.
I have managed to find a tenuous post link, you will all be happy to know. My first night in Turkey was spent in Antalya, where I visited Hadrian's Gate. And lo and behold, when I bought a stamp to send off my first postcard of the trip, it featured Hadrian's Gate. So here it is:
Now I am in Gazipaşa, a good three hour bus-ride from Antalya, where our dig-house is located. Our dig-house is normally a soccer club's football rooms, which have been transformed into dorms for our purposes. It is a pretty great set-up. Our site that we are digging up is about half an hour from here, and is the Roman city of "Antiochia ad Cragum," or "Antioch on the Cliffs."
The above photo is taken from the entry gates to the Roman city, overlooking the countryside with the Mediterranean sea beyond. The Roman city is amazing. There is a temple that dates to the end of the 2nd Century AD; the remains of three bath-houses - one major one surrounded by an elaborate mosaic inside the city gates, one smaller bath-house outside the gates, and one down by the sea; there is the remains of the colonnaded street, which would have had shops lining it and a stunning view over the Sea.
|Getting a site tour|
|Inside the outer bath-house|
|Part of the colonnaded street|
|A road sign in Latin|
The focus of our excavations this season is on what we think is the city Agora, or marketplace. And after two days of glorified gardening - removing a thousand different types of prickle bushes - in order to reveal the ground surface, by Friday we were ready to get into it. I am in a trench with Mary Ann, and we are excavating on top of a mound that may be a temple. I am pretty excited to get into it next week.
|Mary Ann and I standing in the middle of our trench pre-excavation|
Anyhow, after our first week of work, our hard slog was rewarded with a swim in the "Pirate's Cove."
You can't really beat that, right?
So, that is my first week in Turkey done... and I am very much looking forward to the second.