Although Italy and France will doubtless yield further treasures, there are many known archaeological sites in Turkey that have not been fully mapped, let alone dug. Much, therefore, remains to be revealed. For the visitor, then, an important aspect of some of the Greek and Roman cities of Western Turkey is that they are changing as archaeologists from several countries both uncover and even re-erect new pieces of the past, and begin to open up new ones. Other sites in this vast country will continue to attract those with strong legs and stout boots, for they will remain almost untouched amidst their often magnificent settings and dirt-track roads. Both wild sites and sanitized ones have their differing attractions. For the romantically inclined, a scramble through bracken and trees and over rocks or even precipices to trace a defensive wall or to study aqueducts or ancient roads has much to recommend it, especially if one keeps a weather eye open for deep cisterns, sewers and the native fauna. Such people will have the sites to themselves. except perhaps for herds of goats. In this category are Seleukia in Pamphylia, high amongst its pine woods, Kyaneae on its crags, or Laodikaea, or Notium, or Kadarinda, or Herakleia Salbace, or a dozen others. Less wild but just as interesting are those sites in or near which people still live, for these give us a picture of the continuity of urban life amongst antique remains that is now generally missing. Memorable ones are Alabanda, with its orchards by the walls; the Byzantine monasteries and ancient roads on the windy bluffs above Kizkalesi; Syedra and Selinus, difficult to find amongst the market gardens and the cold frames; Iotape, with Byzantine tombs amid the steep banana groves; Iasos, with its fishing boats and farms; Tlos, where the guardian made us a present of walnuts; Herakleia under Latmos, where you thread through kitchen gardens and excited dogs to reach some of the monuments, and are taken to others by the schoolchildren; or Stratonikeia, where a glass of tea precedes and follows any exploration. Another category is sites where little remains in its original state, except for the very name and a museum with the finds. Izmir has a fine museum, but there is much to see in smaller settlements. Tralles is a military area, but nearby Aydin has a well-stocked museum. Bursa is noted for its mosques, but its museum is especially rich in classical antiquities, with a splendid collection of tombstones and funeral plaques. Again, n easy excursion from Ephesus would take the visitor past the Belevi Mausoleum and on to Odemiz, ancient Otamis. Here is a new museum, well lit and filled with a good range of local material from prehistoric times onwards, with noteworthy Hellenistic statuettes, a fine Roman head of Athena, and good grave stelai in the courtyard. The label on a caseful of terracotta lamps deserves near-immortality, and is difficult to fault for its caution: Classic, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine Periods, 480BC - 1453AD. Nearby is the town of Tire, with some excellent Hellenistic and Roman statues and reliefs. Further up the same valley is Birgi (ancient Pyrgi), which has a few remains in situ, but where fifteen matching antique columns have been reused to build the prayer hall of Ulu Camii. And the 14th century Aydinoglu Mehmet Bey Camii, in the same village, has a minaret base built exclusively of large Roman blocks, and many similar in the body of the mosque. Because sites liable to receive visitors are now nearly always cleared of movable material, a visit to the nearby museum is essential to place in context what has been seen on the site. All important towns and sites in Turkey have museums, and all are routinely open, well lit and well labelled. They appear to be much less visited than their adjacent sites, which is both unfortunate for their curators (often with a welcoming glass of tea at the ready), and foolish on the part of passers-by. From Priene, for example, we might study a marble statuette of Alexander the Great; bronze vessels, lamps, furniture fittings and keys; iron working tools; Megaran pottery; and a host of delightful terracottas from both sanctuaries and private houses (Raeder 1984). How else, after wandering amongst the houses and public buildings on this or any other site, would we be able to grasp the full picture of ancient life, private as well as public? The large, glamorous sites, if they sometimes swarm with coachloads of people, continue to be extensively excavated for the very good reason that they are important. Pergamum, Sardis and Ephesus have been dug for many years. Aphrodisias is producing material of equal quality and in excellent condition. No doubt new stars will arise in this hitherto lightly populated country. perhaps Herakleia Salbace, the neighbour of Aphrodisias, will eventually outshine her; or, following a concerted campaign amogst the pinewoods, perhaps Seleukia in Pamphylia will yield treasures to dim those of nearby Side, or Sillyium rival Perge. With such a variety of attractions in a beautiful country with hospitable people and fine food, Turkey deserves still greater prominence in the "balance of treasures" with her neighbours further West. She is now a key country to visit for anyone concerned with classical civilisation, especially that of the Hellenistic, Roman or indeed Byzantine periods. In ten years time, at the present rate of excavation and re-erection, there will be yet more to see and more to study. To the bibliography...

From here you may also go to The Preface, The Introduction, Archaeology in Turkey, Building for Splendour, Town Planning, Roads, Water Supply, Aqueducts, Harbours, The Architecture of Work & Leisure, Religion: Temples & Special Sanctuaries, Funerary Art & Architecture, Decline & Renewal, The Bibliography, or The Table of Contents

Greek & Roman Cities of Western Turkey