Other sites around Pergamum

June 30, 2011

Also in the vicinity of Pergamum are the “Red Basilica” and the Asclepion.

The giant 'Red Basilica' was originally a temple to Egyptian gods


Predictably turned into a church in the Byzantine era.


The Opaion, which used to be much bigger apparently


The Sacred Way to the Asklepeion (a sort of ancient medical facility)


View of the North Gallery




View of the acropolis of Pergamum

Acropolis of Pergamum

June 30, 2011

During the Hellenistic era Pergamum was the capital of a small but extremely wealthy kingdom. They invested heavily in the monumental and, even though certain items were carted off to Berlin, the site is still spectacular.

The theater

Temple of Trajan



Substructure for Trajan's Sanctuary

Once there was a great altar to Zeus here. Now you need to go to Berlin to see it...


The Altar in the Pergamonmuseum

Take the time to hike down to 'Bulding Z' and its mosaics.



June 29, 2011

Assos was a Greek city founded in the 8th century BCE.

Approaching Assos

Aristotle lived here for a few years and now his statue greets visitors

The temple of Athena on the acropolis

The Turkish flag flies over the acropolis

View of the island of Lesbos from the acropolis of Assos

The theater at Assos

Rain on the Aegean

Smintheion near Chryse

June 29, 2011

What to do when mice are eating your crops? As Johannes Nollé explains in “Boars, bears, and bugs: farming in Asia Minor and the protection of men, animals, and crops” (In S. Mitchell and C. Katsari, eds. (2005) Patterns in the Economy of Roman Asia Minor: 59):

Since ancient farmers in Asia Minor did not have as effective a poison as strychnine, all they could do was seek refuge in praying to Apollo Smintheus, the tutelary god against mice. He was worshipped throughout the whole North-West of Asia Minor; and the centre of the cult was the Smintheion near the small town of Chryse in the Troad (now called Gülpinar), which later belonged to the territory of Alexandreia Troas.

The site is relatively small and is in desperate need of explanatory signs but it’s certainly worth a visit (even more so, I bet,  if the museum were open but apparently that’s only the case in July & August).

Remains of the temple

Storks do apparently eat rodents...


Some sort of sacred way lined with dedicatory statue bases?

No idea... A cistern?


Fragment of a Greek inscription

Alexandria Troas

June 29, 2011

On the coast south of Troy, Alexandria Troas was once a big deal. Now it’s just a scattering of ruins. Admission: free.

Fallen columns and entablature

Entablature bits

Signage was at a minimum at Alexandria Troas. I'm guessing this was some sort of cistern...


On the road

According to Lonely Planet, Alexandria Troas once boasted the largest Roman baths in Anatolia. It's not hard to believe.

Baths of Herodes Atticus. Do not climb!


June 28, 2011

As more than one person warned me, Troy isn’t exactly the most exciting place to visit (at least compared to places like Miletus, Afrodisias, Aizanoi, Priene, and Pergamum to mention only a few of Turkey’s spectacular ancient sites) but it’s still quite interesting:

It's a complicated site, occupied for a long time and so with many levels.

Ramp of Troy II citadel, partially restored

The infamous 'Schliemann Trench' cut through the middle of the site

The Roman odeion


View from the city

Beware of Greeks bearing gifts!

Nick in the horse

Hippodrome and environs, Istanbul

June 28, 2011

Obelisk of Theodosius (transplanted from Egypt, 16th century BCE)

Detail of the base for the Obelisk of Theodosius (late 4th century CE)

Detail of the base for the Obelisk of Theodosius (late 4th century CE)

Spiral Column, originally set up at Delphi in commemoration of the Greek victory over the Persians at Plataea in 479 BCE. Brought to Constantinople by Constantine in the 4th century CE.

Aya Sofya: church, mosque, museum. Originally constructed in the 6th century CE.

Basilica Cistern, built by Justinian in the 6th century CE.

Medusa head from the Basilica Cistern.