Old friends are in town and we took the opportunity to visit Iassos. It's one of my favourite sites as it's not on the coach party route and the new road only takes an hour from Bodrum. (A new road to me is anything less than 15 years old.) It also has the added bonus of being excavated by Italian archaeologists who are happy to let the interested wander all over. It's a very pleasant feeling to be welcome on an excavation; on a visit to Asar Island last month, a jobsworth blew a whistle every time someone stepped over an invisible arbitrary line, which had us almost hopping and jumping up the hill as if prodded by hot pokers.
As we wandered around Iassos, the only three visitors on the site, Jeni, Peter and I were trying to remember the last time we were together in these ruins and the fact that my daughter wet her knickers on the trip suggests that it was about 17 years ago (Don't worry, she never reads my blog). The Italians have been very busy since then and much of the agora is now uncovered.
Watching this chap reveal the beautiful marble carving had me briefly hankering for my long abandoned profession...
until his mate arrived and I was reminded that when I last held a trowel in exchange for a (negligible) weekly wage, I was either down a storage pit or kneeling in a foot of soggy clay.
We had to climb over a few wire fences and walls - placed not to keep the visitor out, but the cows in, but this adds to the sense of discovering the site for the first time, no matter how many visits have been made.
The mosaics on the top of the hill have been covered with a roof, but the tesserae from the most decorative elements are sadly missing. Just visible in the corner of this photo is a tiny remnant of a painted wall.
When I got home, I hunted through my old albums and came up with the three photos below. Taken in the 1980s, they show the mosaics and painted wall when they were open to the elements.
Unfortunately, there was no sign last week of this splendid Pegasus.