Thursday, 13 November 2014

Continuity - 3,400 Years.


Lots of people complain that Bodrum has changed too much in the last 30 years;  it has gone from a small fishing village to a busy international holiday resort, but if we take a very long view, Bodrum is actually just finding its way back to the glories of its past.  There is evidence of Mycenaean life in Bodrum which takes us to at least 1400BC and it appears that the site was continuously occupied for the next 3,400 years.  We know that it was an important city in the 5th century BC when it was home to Artemisia 1 and historian Herodotus, but it really took off in the 4th century BC when Satrap Mausolos made it his capital city.  In this century monuments were constructed that were so massive that they could be seen from the island of Kos; Bodrum and bling have obviously had a very long association.  


Halicarnassos  - University of Southern Denmark 
As I walk the dog through the streets of Bodrum, I do so with an awareness of the layers of history under my feet. It is one of the reasons I love living here.  Yesterday, in the Karia Princess Hotel, Prof. Poul Pedersen showed a fascinating slide of present day Bodrum Streets (left)  and the hypothetical street plan in the 4th century BC (right), showing that today's street plan follows Mausolos' city design.   It's exciting to think that we are still treading in the footsteps of those who lived over two millennia  ago.  My own address is telling.  I live on Mars Mabedi Caddesi - Temple of Mars Street.  I didn't choose the house because of the address, but as a lapsed archaeologist, I never tire of writing it down. 

University of Southern Denmark


14 comments:

  1. . . fascinating stuff! Piecing bits together when there is a living, breathing city/town overlaying the site can't be an easy or short term project. Just back from an update visit to Sagalassos with Dep. Vali - given key to Neon Library - place is kept locked except for large, groups by prior appointment. Post will no doubt follow at some point.

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    1. Wish I could befriend "a man with keys"

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  2. Temple of Mars Street? How very, very cool.

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  3. As SDA just said - a very cool address. I've never been to Greece or Turkey, but get a similar thrill walking on Roman marble pavements in Verona or climbing an Iron age hill-fort rampart in the Welsh Marches. But 3400 years of continuous habitation is tremendous!

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  4. Knowing you are walking in the stepos of those so long ago must make even atrip to the shops quite a thrill.

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    1. You've just given me an idea for the next post

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  5. Fabulous. As you know, we lived a few hundred metres from the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus. Not too many expats can boast that they lived on the same ancient street as one of the wonders of ancient world. I doubt we'll ever get an address like that again!

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    1. I'm sure Liam knows he's living with an ancient wonder.

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  6. So interesting, those maps are fascinating, you are right, we can now imagine ourselves following the same paths as those thousands of years ago. Everything changes, but remains the same. Thanks for this post.

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    1. You are welcome Eljay. I still haven't made it over to your Stone House. Next year I hope.

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