Because of the changes of relative sea and land levels over the centuries, and also the effects of silting, antique harbour installations in Turkey are usually difficult to study, and often impossible. They tend either to be silted up and boggy (Ephesus, Miletus), or under the sea (Phaselis, and much of the south coast). Indeed, several sites in Western Turkey, let alone their harbours, can be difficult to visit because of the change in the sea level. A good example is the Letoon (near to Xanthos), where the water table is so high that examining the site can be as difficult as digging it must have been. The same applies to the sanctuary at Claros (about 20km from Ephesus) which, depending on the season, may be awash. In Lycia, a thorough examination of both tomb monuments and harbours often requires a boat, because many tombs are either in the sea, or only accessible from the sea. This is the case at, for example, Aperlai, Kekova and Teimiussa.

Nevertheless, there are sites where vestiges of harbour installations are to be found. At Miletus, the visitor can now walk across what was once the harbour, viewing not only the remains of the warehouses, and of the northern agora and Delphinium which led to them, but also the two lions couchant which once guarded the harbour entrance. These are still in place, each sitting somewhat mournfully in its own boggy depression, staring out over what was once the sea. At Andriake, once the port for Myra, designed under Trajan, the land is often considerably more boggy than at Miletus. Although there are many structures to seaward that have not yet been explored, those to the south of the ancient harbour often stand to a good height. Behind a series of storerooms built into the slope of the cliff stands (to its full height) an imposing Hadrianic granary (25), with proportions of 65 by 32 metres. Once again, a boat is needed to examine the buildings on both sides of the river. At Patara, the sand dunes have encroached on the buildings, and the ancient harbour is now a marsh, to be skirted in order to view the Hadrianic granary, conceivably built by the same team that designed the one at Andriake, which it resembles.

As with so many other aspects of its archaeology, the study of harbours in Turkey must yield rich fruit - rich enough to match, perhaps, the finds excavated from sunken wrecks around her coasts in increasing numbers over recent decades.

Bibliographical Notes

Mueller-Wiener (1988) for a well-illustrated account of Greek building techniques up to the Hellenistic period.

For roads generally, Chevallier (1989); for roads and milestones in Asia Minor, French (1981). Talbert (1985, 160-1) for a good map of the towns and road network in Roman Asia Minor. De Ruyt (1983) for Roman markets.

For aqueducts generally, Garbrecht (1983); Frontinus (1980) for a fascinating antique treatise on the subject by the "Master of Waters" for Rome herself. For the famous water supply piped through a large mountain on Samos, see Herodotus III.90. For fountains as an art form, Glaser (1983) and Neuerburg (1965). For drainage and water supply at Sardis, see Yeguel (1986, figs 213ff).

Jones (1966) for the general phenomenon; Foss (1976) for the decline in services at Sardis, and Foss (1979) for the same at Ephesus.

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

Greek & Roman Cities of Western Turkey