Saturday, 29 November 2014
A Tomb with a View.
Another funerary related post. In 1985, we moved from Bitez and bought a small house in the Kumbahçe district of Bodrum. We would have had a sea view, but for a large hillock in front of us, but the lack of a view made it the only house in Bodrum in our price range. During the 80s, more and more houses were built and Kumbahçe became a desired address, but the bare mound remained. It was owned by Şalvarağa, an unkempt barrel of man who had a sea-facing shack, surrounded by mounds of fire wood, on his hill. If you met him in the street, you'd assume that he was on his uppers, but his shack sat on a goldmine in real estate terms. It was understood that Şalvarağa was constantly offered great riches for his hill, but he refused to sell.
We moved away and I assume Şalvarağa died, because when we returned to Turkey in 2012 his land was being developed. Last year, as a road was being excavated to access the incipient million-Euro -plus villas, the diggers unearthed a tomb, just under where Şalvarağa had had his shack. Work was stopped as archaeologists were called in to investigate. A gold leaf was found, enough to date the tomb to the Roman Era, and suggest that its occupant was an important military man, as golden laurel leaf crowns were a symbol of martial victory in Roman times. Work on the construction was stopped for a while and I like to think that both the occupant of the tomb and Şalvarağa were looking down and having a joke at the expense of the construction company that was desecrating their hill.
"Resting on one's laurels" - to rely on past success for continued respect.