January 2023 in Turkish archaeology

Let's take a brief look at the archaeology news from January 2023 (for the full information, please read the full text below). Firstly, last month an exciting new project was announced, promising to provide the text of almost 2000 Hittite tablets, deciphered using artificial intelligence. Secondly, great news from Iznik (ancient Nicaea) where a new Archaeological Museum is getting ready to open. In the same town, Byzantine artefacts were found under an orchard by an unsuspecting farmer. Finally, as part of the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the Turkish Republic, an exhibition, displaying Ottoman and Republican-era objects, was opened at the Presidential National Library in Ankara.

Ancient fortification walls of Nicaea (modern-day Iznik)
Ancient fortification walls of Nicaea (modern-day Iznik)

Plucking from the garden of history

Text and photos by our correspondent from Didyma, Glenn Maffia.

Following on from my previous article (Apollo on my mind), I believe that it may be necessary, even prudent, to qualify some of the evidence which I proffered therein.

Most notably the abject attitude of some local people towards this incredibly rich vein of historical artefacts which are seemingly endless in their historical scope, the innumerable disparate peoples and cultures, the endless number of belief systems which were active over so many millennia and the sheer diversity within this landmass which once was, without doubt, the ‘crossroads of the earth’.

Miletus Museum exterior
Miletus Museum exterior

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Apollo on my mind

Text by our correspondent from Didyma, Glenn Maffia.

Just prior to Christmas, I received a number of communications from my sources within Europe concerning the future of investigations into the Temple of Apollo at Didyma. Nothing concrete, you must understand, but nonetheless intriguing in the way that such archaeological tenets are being evolved, or rather dissolved, by the principle institutions engaged in this highly valuable and crucial work.

Temple of Apollo in Didyma
Temple of Apollo in Didyma

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The treasures of Ephesus in the Ephesos Museum in Vienna

As it is also the case of other ancient cities, also the archaeological artefacts found in Ephesus can be seen in different locations around the world. The findings excavated between 1867 and 1905 were taken to the British Museum, while the Ephesos Museum in Vienna displays numerous artefacts discovered between 1896 and 1906, when seven Austrian archaeological expeditions transported findings to Vienna. Luckily, numerous artefacts are now on display in the Ephesus Archaeological Museum in Selçuk, near the ruins of Ephesus.

Ephesos Museum in Vienna
Ephesos Museum in Vienna

The treasures of Miletus in the Altes Museum in Berlin

The exhibits unearthed during the excavations in Miletus are scattered across numerous museums. In Turkey, the finds from Miletus are on display in the small local museum in Miletus, but also in archaeological museums in Izmir and Istanbul. However, taking into account the long and eventful history of Miletus, the collections displayed in the Turkish museums are surprisingly sparse. For instance, one of the most interesting objects - the Market Gate - was transported in pieces to Germany and reconstructed in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin. Moreover, there are also numerous other finds from Miletus on display in other museums, forming the famous Museum Island in Berlin. This publication looks closer at the artefacts presented in the oldest museum of this group - the Altes Museum.

Altes Museum in Berlin
Altes Museum in Berlin

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