Wroxeter Roman City – or a wall

“Let’s go to see the Romans” I trilled.
“They’ve left” grumped Dr B.
I insisted, dragged her across most of Shropshire to find that Wroxeter Roman City was:
i) Closed (the guide said it would be open, I checked, really I did).
ii) Consisted of a wall (it looked better in the guidebook, really, it did).
Dr B was not impressed.

Turkey 2010 – Aphrodisias

I’ve found this entry very hard to start. We decided to visit Aphrodisias at the last moment, and ended up having one of those perfect ‘peak experience’ days.

It started with a fun drive from the car park to the entrance.
This sculpture on the edge of the path down looked promising…
…as did the remains of a house (note the different column types).
The remains of snow on the nearby mountains was rather surreal.
Then ‘wham’, the Temple of Aphrodite.
It’s HUGE (note that I’ve managed to get the snow into shot)…
…with amazing detail.
Adam was a bit ahead of me, and started to laugh hysterically…well you can see why!
The stadium is 270m long, with a capacity of 30,000.
If you listened carefully you could hear the roar of the crowd, and see the dust churned up by the chariot wheels.
This may have been a backgammon ‘board’. We saw a remarkably similar piece in the Ephesus museum.

The remains of the Bouleuterion, council chamber, which had been preserved by mud.
The end of rows of seats had the lovely ‘hoof’ detail we’d seen elsewhere.
The ‘posh’ seats…
…would have had this delightful little chap to lean on.
In amongst all the archeological splendour, we found the beginning of a wasps nest…
…and a very snoozy cat.
Here is some more beautiful detail…
…the market place…
…and a vague overview of the site.
Aphrodisias was excavated comparatively recently (by the late Prof Kenan Erim of NYU, who’s buried by the Gate of Aphrodite), the majority of the finds are here.
Including Michael Heseltine….
…Brian Blessed…
…and this noble youth.
The museum was fabulous beyond belief, including this room (hall) full of reliefs.
By the end of it all, we felt a bit like this (photo by Adam).

Turkey 2010 – Ephesus Hill Houses

Over the last 10 years or so, some high status houses in Ephesus have started to be excavated.

You have to pay an extra fee to see them, and it’s well worth it.
Some of the work is like a huge jigsaw puzzle.
The scale of the houses is quite astounding.
The fresco work is, by all accounts, the finest outside Pompeii.
My jaw dropped when I saw this.

As you can see there are lots and lots of finds.

Look, a Roman goth (although goth meant something quite different then!).
Each house was built under the terrace of the house above.
A Roman water pipe.
Lovely little cherubs…
…and a nice lion.
More jaw dropping stuff…
…astonishingly well preserved.
I thought you might like a better look at the ‘goth girl’, she even has black lipstick.
My fave was this pigeon…
…although this fish was fabulous too.

Turkey 2010 – Ephesus

This is a place that a set of photos really can’t do justice to.

So here is just my personal take. Here is the front of the library…

…Sophia, wisdom…et moi…

…and example of the amazing detail.

The market place where St Paul got into trouble…

…a wee gladiator…

…a fantastic duck…

…wolf…

…cow…

…lion…

…and a goat.

“Ave Adz!”

What you have to do to get an Equity ticket in Turkey…!

Obligatory cat photograph!

Turkey May 2010 – Pergamon Asclepion

Pergamon also has the ruins of the Asclepion, a health complex (where Galen practiced) . At the end of this parade (which would have been a row of SHOPS [only 2,000 years too late!]), potential patients would be assessed. Pregnant women and the terminally ill weren’t allowed in, which was cheating if you ask me.

There were lots of little lizards around…

…who were rather shy.

Unlike this little tortoise, the first I’ve ever seen in the wild.

The columns were rather lovely.

Wouldn’t mind this in the back garden.

On this broken column you can see three health symbols: snakes, olive branches, and the wheel of life.
The poppies and wild flowers were absolutely lovely.

One of the main form of diagnosis was dream analysis, so heaven only knows what they’d have made of me.

The site had various mod cons, including a tunnel to travel around the site if it was raining….

…and a decent sized theatre.

I was rather taken by the little ball and claw feet that marked the end of each row.

It was shades of Ozymandias

…especially this one that’s upside down!

Turkey May 2010 – Pergamon Acropolis

I wish I could take you there. To feel the heat of the sun, and hear the whispering of the grass in the wind. To the site that was once one of the greatest libraries in the ancient world.

The Acropolis consists of the remains of a number of different buildings. This is the temple of Trajan…

…the Trajaneum.

The wall which looks like modern concrete, is in fact, ancient concrete :-).

Obligatory snap of Adam scaring himself with the drop!

The temple of Athena, the oldest building on the site.

Where the Altar of Zeus would have been, if it hadn’t been carted off to Berlin. I feel very torn…part of me wishes that the altar was still at the Acropolis, but it needs to be properly conserved (which it is, in a quite wonderful museum).
The theatre had a capacity of 10,000…

…as you can see, it has the steepest seating of any known temple in the ancient world.

And my legs are too short for my feet to touch the next step here too.

The Temple of Dionysus – looks rather a nice little temple. Although I shudder to think what went on there…:-)

North Leigh Roman Villa

As some of you know, Adam and I have made a few vain attempts to find the Roman villa at North Leigh. Hurrah – we managed it on Sunday (it’s not difficult, we’ve just been a bit clueless).

As you can see, those Roman chaps choose a rather nice spot.

It must have been quite a place in its heyday.

Sadly, we weren’t able to view the mosaic pavement, as the viewing windows have been vandalised.
Due to the power of the iPhone, Adam was able to pick up the football scores (0 – 6 to Huddersfield Town, so worth finding out).

I think it was all too much for my Ma…

…just like this little foal.

Ronda La Vieja

After The Boy’s conference had ended, we made the most of the good weather, and went to visit Acinipo – known by the locals as Ronda La Vieja.

There was a handy, little sign pointing out the way. The circling vultures weren’t quite so welcoming!

Stepping out onto the stage, the eons rolled back – sadly I couldn’t remember anything suitable to declaim.

This couple didn’t do any better!

It’s an amazing spot – you can see why it was choosen as a fortress.