Sunday, February 1, 2015

Kelenderis: Samian Colony

Photos by Jack Waldron

The road 30 km before reaching Aydincik is one of the biggest challenges I have faced since starting Bike Classical.  Up, and up and up and up . . . a steady climb for hours in 35 degree heat . . . beautiful!!  The reward, coasting 3 km into Aydincik directly to a small beer shop.  Heaven on earth!
The large Roman Dortayak Cenotaph with four columns (pictured below) dates from the 2nd C AD. A cenotaph is "a monument erected as a memorial to a dead person or dead people buried elsewhere, especially people killed fighting a war".
The Dortayak Cenotaph was marked on the map of Chelindreh harbor that was prepared by Rear Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort. It is made of well-cut limestones with a rectangular burial room on the lower part, on which four pylons are erected and a pyramidal roof carried by the arches of the four pylons. This type is a common one in the Roma period and may be dated to the second half of the 2nd or early 3rd C AD.
Ancient Kelenderis was founded in the 8C BC by Samian colonists, became a member of the Delian League, and was an important weigh station on route to and from Egypt.  Today, most of the ancient city has been built over by modern Aydincik.  Pictured below, archeologists are working on a small odeon.  The great theater (not far out of the picture up on the main road) has been built over with a mosque.
I rested for two days in a nice little hotel . . . they gave me a great room and a very good price!  It turns out that I really needed that rest, because my next destination was to be even more challenging . . . ancient Anamurion . . . , and the days following would not let up.  These are the Taurus mountains.

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