Sunday, October 29, 2017

Andriake: Granary of Hadrian

Photos by Jack A. Waldron (except those for the newspaper article)

The river Androkos (ancient name) empties into the sea just past the now silted ancient harbor of Andriake, the site of the Granary of Hadrian.  Though it is unclear whether Andriake was founded as an independent Lycian city, it most certainly was a port of access for ancient Myra, as well as a defensive bull work that stretched west along the coast to ancient Sura.  Historically, Andriake has marked a number of recorded events, such as the erection of statues dedicated to the Roman emperor and his wife upon their visit in 18 AD.  Also, it was at Andriake that Saint Paul changed ships while on route to Rome in 60 AD.
The now silted harbor that is situated approximately four kilometers from the great metropolis of Myra was guarded from entry by a great chain that spanded the entrance.  It reported by the writer Apian, that in his quest to collect money from the nearby city for Brutus in 42 BC, Lentulus Splinther broke the chain allowing, thus forcing the entry of his ships.  The Romans invested in the facilities at Andriake during the first and second centuries AD under Trajan 98-117 AD, Hadrian 117-138 AD and Marcus Aurelius 161-180 AD.  This required the dredging of the harbor to keep it from silting, as well as the building of storehouses that supplied the Roman army during their eastern campaigns.
Pictured below, a view of both Honorary Monuments with the West Monument in the foreground, and East Monument further away next to it.
The Granary of Hadrian at Andriake is so named as his name is inscribed in Latin above the arched doors that project from the chambers at each end of the building.  Further, busts of Hadrian and what is believed to be his wife Sabina (or, Faustina the Elder, wife of Antoninus Pius) protrude from the facade of the granary.  There is also a relief on the front wall that depicts a standing Serapis and a reclining Isis with a griffin between the two.
The warehouse (so inscribed with the Latin, 'HORREA') measures 60 x 30 meters and contains eight chambers with inner access doors connecting each, as well as doors and accompanying windows along the front of the building.  The full inscription as recorded by Beaufort in 1811 read: HORREA IMP. CAESARIS DIVI TRAIANI PARTHICI F. DIVI. NERVEA NEPOTIS TRAIANI HADRIANI AUGUSTI COS. III.Also inscribed on the front wall is a standard of weights and measures which befit the purpose of the structure and in this case ascribed to the dictate of Byzantium.
More storage facilities along with supervisory buildings line the silted bay (pictured below).  Between this area along the harbor and the market area or Plakoma is a residential area.  
Further to the east are two Byzantine era churches or basilicas (pictured below).
Heading back toward the granary up from the harbor there is a tall wall and a large door fronted by columns which is the main entrance into the Plakoma or market place (pictured below).  The columns of colonnade that once surrounded the Plakoma have been repurposed over the centuries.
There has been an enormous amount of restoration done to the site, including the Plakoma, where the surrounding wall has been restore, as well as the stone pavement blocks where possible.  In the center of the Plakoma is a large cistern that is supported underground by eight double arches (pictured below).
Continuing around toward the harbor entrance, there are newly fully restored Roman era warehouse that now house a new site museum (pictured below).  Unfortunately, the museum was still in the process of being completed when I visited.  No matter, there are several items I managed to overlook during my rushed visit, so I will do a more through investigation in the future.
According to the museum staff, the warehouse building has been restored using every antique member available as a guide to recreate the original design.
My time at the site was limited to the closing time of the park, so I was not able to hike un to a Roman era tower and/or possible Roman temple that are located at the headland near the sea.  Those will have to wait for further examination . . . , along with the Temple of Apollo at Sure.
Forbidding heat, time to keep, and greater sites to seek, I did not explore the Roman Tomb that sits some hundred meters off the highway, just across the river from the site of Andriake (pictured above).  I will, I will, I must, along with numerous overlooked gems, investigate the next time around.
As I was cycling down the mountain from ancient Sure to Andriake, I noticed a car pulling off the road in front of me.  As the door of the car sprang open, out popped this arm waving gentleman who forced me to screech my bicycle breaks to a halt.  He introduced himself as a newspaper reporter, and explained that he would like to take some pictures of me, and, write a story of my journeys.
The article he wrote (pictured above) appeared in nearly every newspaper across Turkey, and suddenly I had more people honking horns and waving at me out of their cars than the whole prior three years . . . , maybe just coincidence.
*All photos and content property of Jack A. Waldron (photos may not be used without written permission)

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Sunday, October 8, 2017

Sura: Fish Oracle of Apollo

Photos by Jack A. Waldron

Sura, which was a dependency of nearby Myra, and closer still to the ancient port at Andriake, must be one of the most overlooked sites of the known ancient cities within modern Turkey.  The highway that divides the city in two allows little chance to catch the ancient monuments hidden among the greenhouses and overgrowth.  I myself might have missed this rarely visited site had I not approached the ancient city from the coastal road that begins at Cyaneae and ends at Sura.  As I approached, I found myself high up on a ridge overlooking a deep valley fronted in the distance by the sea coast.  At its bottom, a small river flowed from nowhere, but appeared to lead from an ancient structure that I had no idea at the time, was the Temple of Apollo Surios (pictured above in the lower right corner), which stills stands approximately 8 meters high.  The city center sits atop the ridge about 100 meters above the temple (pictured in the upper left of the same photo).
Though I have now passed this site twice, I have yet to make my way down the steep incline to the temple, which I was to discover later was known in ancient times for its Oracle Fish of Apollo, and further, that there is a rock-cut staircase that leads down to the site, and to the spring that still fills the pool where the fish would predict future events for those who inquired.  The Hellenistic writer Polycharmus described the workings of the oracle:
"When they come to the sea, where is the grove of Apollo by the shore, on which is the whirlpool on the sand, the clients present themselves holding two wooden spits, on each of which are tens pieces of roast meat.  The priest takes his seat in silence by the grove, while the client throws the spits into the whirlpool and watches what happens.  After the spits are thrown in, the pool fills with sea-water, and a multitude of fish appear as if by magic, and of a size to cause alarm.  The prophet announces the species of the fish and the client accordingly receives his answer from the priest."
I am looking very forward to the day when I anchor my sailboat off this ancient harbor and make my way to the Oracle Fish of Apollo, where I will then perform the ancient mystery and receive my consultation, and, observe the interior inscriptions attributed to the deities Apollo Sozon/Surios and Zeus Atabyrios of Rhodes.
A little further up the road where the valley meets the upper plain, the ancient city begins to raise its head.  Pictured above, a Watch Tower guards the north east section of the city just beyond the city wall.  And again, the overgrowth of thorny brush kept me at bay from further investigation, because cyclist bib-shorts are not the best gear to ward off thorns, needles, snakes and scorpions, though I do think I often test them to the limit.
In search of further evidence of the ancient city, which at the time of visiting I had not a clue as to the name of, I found a dirt path leading into the rows of greenhouses and tall trees.  I first happened onto a well preserved Exedra Tomb Monument (pictured above) that appeared to be located within a necropolis, though one could not be sure, as the ancient Lycian's often located tombs in and around the areas of the city where people lived.
Near the Exedra Tomb there is a well preserved Lycian sarcophagi with an ornately carved lid decorated with lions emerging from within the tomb head and paws first.
The only monument that can partially be seen from the main highway is an outcrop that is home to an extremely well preserved Lycian Pillar Tomb that is elevated on a high platform of sculpted rock that takes the shape of a Lycian House Tomb (pictured below).
This is a unique looking 4C BC Lycian tomb for having an elevated Pillar Tomb rise above a flat-roofed House Tomb.  The patron of the family was most likely buried in the Pillar Tomb, while the chamber within the lower section of the tomb or house would probably have been a place of internment for family members, who were often buried together as to keep the unit close before and after death.
At the base of the large outcrop or acropolis are two inscriptions on rock carved stele (pictured below).
Though I didn't take the time to photograph all of the rock carved stele around the Acropolis, there are twenty plus such examples to be viewed.

*All photos and content property of Jack A. Waldron (photos may not be used without written permission)

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