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Middle East » Turkey
July 26th 2015
Published: August 11th 2015
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Not so easy to find. James the GPS did not want to know about it – no matter which of the various spellings we tapped in. But driving in the general direction where we thought it might be we first saw AFRODISIAS , then something in Cyrillic script, then Aphrodite, and then Aphrodisias. We followed the signs.

The site itself is not so big and doesn’t draw the tourist numbers that Efes and nearby Pamukkale draw.

It is an interesting paddock full of ruins.

There is a very good museum with a range of statues – often with limbs amputated and many with faces blown off ( it seems some rogues have taken a liking to shooting the faces off statues). But I do know that if there is reincarnation I don’t want to come back as an Aphrodisias statue. All the make statues had the crown jewels cut or blown off – or maybe some one took them home as a personal joy.

Archaeologists reckon they have traced life at the site back to 5000 BC. By 200 BC the population was in the order of 15,000.

Most of the ruins we saw are the remains of structures from about the 1st century and over the next 250 years.

The stadium is in quite good order. At one end there is a tunnel which would be where stadium contenders would enter and ( if capable) exit. It looked like a perfect place to feed a few Christians to the lions. After all Aphrodisias became the capital of the Roman province of Caria by the 3rd century AD.

The city was prosperous up to the 6th century AD. During that latter period the temple of Aphrodite was converted to a Christian Church .

The city was abandoned about 1200 AD.

This set of vertical columns with a canopy structure is the Sanctuary of Aphrodite. Originally it was built about 200 AD. Somewhere it fell down. But now it has been rebuilt (1991) with 85%!o(MISSING)riginal materials after new foundations were laid ( level).

The quality of preservation and completeness made seeing this particular site more enjoyable that the other ruins we have seen.

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