My favourite destination has always been Stratonikeia, between Milas and Yatağan. The site is an archaeologist's dream as Greek, Roman and Ottoman remains tumble round the Turkish Republic houses. The Villagers of Eskihisar were forced to leave their houses as the ever expanding coal mine encroached on their land. Abandoned villages always have a forsaken air and Eskihisar had the added menace of massive slag heaps looming over the ancient city walls. Only one old lady refused to leave and as the years went on she got progressively more dotty and would yell at us as we apologetically picked our way around the ruins. She is long gone now but luckily my talented hubby captured her in water colour.
I returned to Stratonikeia this April for the first time in 10 years and found a happier atmosphere in the village. Two families have moved back and a team from Pamukkale University were busy excavating and restoring mosaics. The mosque has been repaired despite having no worshippers and the tea house was open. The towering slag heaps have been seeded and are turning into rolling green hills. Excavations have turned up exciting finds detailed below in the links. But the most thrilling development is an initiative between Muğla and Italian Education ministries to educate children using Statonikeia and Herclenium as examples. With a tag line of "Who doesn't know the past can't have a future, so teach through history", I am completely won over.