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Anabatours - There Are Too Many Place To See Anabatours - There Are Too Many Place To See
THERE ARE TOO MANY PLACE TO SEE

SARDIS

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The Acropolis

The ascent (best made from the west or southwest) involves a scramble through underbrush and up steep slopes, often slippery with loose gravel. Allow 45 minutes for the climb up, and wear sturdy shoes. The magnificent panoramic view from the summit justifies the climb. Either on the way up or down, the "Hanging Towers (isolated segments of Early Byzantine fortification, with gateways) are worth inspecting at close range.
     Dominating the summit are the citadel's Early Byzantine fortifications. A long stretch that includes tower, gate, cistern, and belvederes with connecting vaulted corridor is well preserved on the south side.

Anabatours - There Are Too Many Place To See The walls are faced with spoils from older monuments, including a great variety of architectural remains and more than 20 inscriptions (recorded and published by the American scholars W. H. Buckler and D. M. Robinson).
     Remains of Lydian occupation are slight. A pair of impressive terrace walls (now partly reburied for protection) on the north side, near the summit, date from either Lydian or Persian times and evidently landscaped the surroundings of a major building, perhaps a palace or temple. These walls and the quality of contemporaneous pottery recovered on the summit during excavation (including a superb Attic black-figure "Merrythought cup, which may be seen in the Manisa Museum) attest the prestigious role of the Acropolis in the 6th and 5th centuries B.C.
     The focus of many attacks and sieges in antiquity and Byzantine times, the Acropolis was again disputed in 1919, when it was alternately held by Turkish and Greek forces during the Turkish War of Independence. War trenches and graffiti (on the vaulted corridor walls of the Early Byzantine fortifications) attest this most recent military function.


Recreated Lydian Tile Display

     During the 6th century B.C., buildings at Sardis (as at other cities of western and central Anatolia) regularly were roofed and revetted with molded terracotta tiles painted in bright colors. Many of these tiles have been recovered at Sardis (several of the more interesting may be seen in the Manisa Museum); all are in very fragmentary condition, however, and to the casual observor scarcely begin to suggest the appearance of complete individual tiles much less that of tile assemblages.

Anabatours - There Are Too Many Place To See      This recreation aims to show the visual effect of complete Sardian Tiles, in assemblage and in an authentic architectural context and outdoor environment. The tiles that you see are modern facsimiles. They are the same size as the ancient originals, they reproduce the original motifs and colors (as closely as these could be determined), and they are made of the same materials as the ancient tiles.
     The recreated tiles are formed of clay that was obtained from local deposits in the Hermus River plain (near Urganh, where there is a pottery-making establishment today). The tiles are painted with slips prepared from several different clays, which when fired produce red, black, and white colors. Some of these clays were obtained from local deposits, others were imported-not because they do not exist in the Sardis region but in order to save time in locating appropriate deposits and in refining the clay. The clay for the white slip, for example, comes from KŁtahya.

     The recreated tiles were made by (1) taking casts of original tile fragments, (2) collating the decorative elements from the casts and reconstructing full-scale models of complete tiles, (3) making molds of the models, (4) casting tiles from the molds. Freshly-cast tiles were touched up by hand (as was also done in antiquity) and allowed to dry. When dry the tiles were painted and then fired in a kiln.

     The recreation project was not intended to be an exercise in "experimental archaeology, and modern materials and techniques were freely used (plaster of paris for the molds and an electric kiln, for example). Nevertheless there were gains in practical information with respect to techniques and procedures of forming, drying, painting,' and firing that are relevant to ancient tile production.
     The project was accomplished during six summer seasons by a team of up to six persons, most of whom were experienced potters, sculptors, or painters.
     The plantings in the enclosure are historically appropriate to the ancient landscape of western Anatolia. Their flowers, fruits, and scents recall the gardens of Lydian and Persian eras for which Sardis was famous.
Anabatours - There Are Too Many Place To See
Anabatours - There Are Too Many Place To See     The left photo is showing between hero and beast, possibly Theseus and the Minotaur, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. The right photo explains ; not recreated for display, now in the manisa museum.

Anabatours - There Are Too Many Place To See

 

    The left photo is showing "goddess with beats" or potnia theron, now in the Louvre, Paris. And the right one is a part of a spouted sima til, now in Manisa Museum.

Anabatours - There Are Too Many Place To See

The Bath-Gymnasium Complex and the Marble Court

Anabatours - There Are Too Many Place To See The impressive ruins of the bath-gymnasium complex in Sardis are easily visible immediarel north of the Izmir-Ankara highway, some 150-200 meters from the yol-kahve bus stop. With a total area of nearly 51/2 acres, the complex is undoubtedly the most prominent public structure of Sardis, occupying a central position in the busy downtown area of the Roman city. The entire southern frontage of the building is taken up by a row of shops and opens onto a wide, colonnaded Marble Avenue.
    The planning of the complex conforms to the "Imperial type composed of a series of rooms and halls arranged symmetrically around a major axis and terminating in a single, large caldarium.

It displays the characteristic features of the Roman baths in Asia Minor in which the Hellenistic gymnasium with its colonnaded palaestra and the Roman bath with its vaulted halls converged to produce a new type with elements common to both. In inscriptions, these buildings are referred to as gymnasia or as baths (balnea) quite interchangably. The closest parallel to the planning of the Sardis complex is the Vedius bath-gymnasium in Ephesus; other comparable bath-gymnasia can be seen in Miletus, Aphrodisias and Hierapolis.
    The eastern half of the bath-gymnasium in Sardis is occupied by a square courtyard, the palaestra, for exerciser the vaulted halls of the western half are intended for bathing. The halls south of the palaestra were given over to the Jewish community of the city during the late 3rd century A.D. and became a monumental synagogue. The main entrance to the complex is from the east side of the palaestra, through a triple gate, on the main east-west axis of the building; at the west end is Marble Court, a rectangular space displaying a sumptuous arrangement of columnar aediculae in two stories and dedicated to the Imperial Cult. On the entablature of the first story is a dedicatory inscription (in red) mentioning the names of Emperors Caracalla and Geta (his name is erased) and their mother Julia Domna, A.D. 211. On the podium, a 5th century Byzantine inscription in verse and prose (in yellow) expresses admiration for the renewed decoration of the building donated by a civic leader.

    Since exercise and games usually preceded hot bathing, the visitors entered into the complex by way of the palaestra. After undressing (probably in BE-A, BE-AA, BE-B, BE-BB) and participating in a light form of exercise, they hurried inside upon the ringing of the tintinnabulum, which announced the opening of the hot baths. Two identical paths through BE-N and BE-S into the group of rooms north and south of the Marble Court brought them to the great apsidal halls BNH and BSH (the base of a Statue of Lucius Verus, ca. A.D. 161, displayed on the apse podium), probably intended as a grand concourse of social and ceremonial character. Next, the bathers moved into the heated western section (largely unexcavated); passing through a series of rooms increasing in temperature from tepid to warm, they arrived in the caldarium (BWH), which is the main bathing hail with heated pools. From the caldarium, the bathers moved back into the eastern section into the central hall, BCH (domed?) and finally into the large oblong hall BE-H identified as the cold bathing hall, the frigidarium, because of the huge swimming pool occupying the floor and private basins and pools inside the niches of the walls. After the cold bath and swim, a final massage complete with anointment and perfume was enjoyed by many as a rejuvenating termination of the bathing procedure; Sardians were now ready to leave the baths and hurry to dinner.
     The Marble Court (Imperial Hall-Kaise caal) deserves emphasis not only because of the unusual visual wealth of its rntilti-storied facades, but also the symbolic meaning of this architecture. Similar space in Roman baths and gymnasia in Asia Minor have been associated with the observance of the Imperial cult.
Anabatours - There Are Too Many Place To See

The rich and varied columnar arrangement, the imposing pedimented group of the center, the continuous podia for the display of statuary and the polychromatic effects of marble may all allude to kingly and palatial subjects. The setting is also closely related to the stage decoration (scaenaefrons) of the Roman theater and suggests a link with Dionysus and the Dionysiac nature of the emperors. The prominence of the Dionysiac theme in the decorative program of the Marble Court-particularly in the capitals of the screen colonnade-may not have been accidental.
     The Marble Court was reconstructed (1964-1973) largely to its original A.D. 211 stage although some of the features of the later alterations were retained. During some of these, the north and south apses of the Court were closed off by a wall (but later cut open with doors) and the central, west apse (for the cult image?) framed by the gigantic spirally-fluted columns, converted into a passage leading into the frigidarium; this may have happened sometime in the 4th century when the Imperial cult was banned or suppressed.
    The reconstruction incorporates some 60-65% of the original architectural ornament. Originally, the rubble and brick walls against which the columns stand, were entirely covered in marble veneer. The aediculae, as seen today, are supported by a modern reinforced concrete frame. embedded into the thickness of the massive rubble walls; the columns carry no loads except their own weight.

The Necropolis

The main burial ground for ancient Sardis was located in the hills and cliffs on both sides of the Pactolus stream. Several types of tombs have been found in this region. These range in architectural sophistication from simple, stone-lined cists dug into the ground to well-built limestone chambers covered by mounds of earth, or tumuli.

Of exceptional design is the stepped "Pyramid Tomb located in the northwest foothills of the Acropolis. The most common type of tomb is the chamber tomb carved into the hills' easily-worked, sandy conglomerate. The typical Lydian chamber tomb had an entrance flanked by one or two stone markers (stelaz), a short corridor (dromos), and one or two chambers, usually with raised benches against the walls. The earliest of these tombs that can be dated were made in the 6th century B.C. The necropolis continued to be used through Persian, Hellenistic and Roman times.Before the Roman period, inhumation was the usual practice. Bodies were placed directly into cists or in sarcophagi of clay or stone which were then buried. Anabatours - There Are Too Many Place To See

     In the chamber tombs, bodies were sometimes laid out on the benches, sometimes placed in sarcophagi set either on the benches or into the chamber, floors. In tumulus chambers, bodies were often laid out on stone benches. Funeral offerings included pottery and metal vases and utensils associated with eating, drinking and personal adornment, lamps, figurines and jewelry.

Anabatours - There Are Too Many Place To See      More than 1,000 chamber tombs were excavated between 1910 and 1914 by the American Society for the Excavation of Sardis, directed by Howard Crosby Butler of Princeton University. Most of these had been plundered in the remote or recent past. Erosion has obliterated many of these tombs, but the visitor can still appreciate their distribution and concentration. Directly opposite the Artemis Temple to the west, for example, the broad sloping face of a low ridge shows many shallow depressions, all of which are tomb cavities. A readily accessible group of five chamber tombs can be visited by following the modern road along the west bank of the Pactolus stream to a point approximately 3 km. south of the Artemis Temple. Just before you come to a tributary of the Pactolus and a small Turkish cemetery, you will see the tomb doorways in a low cliff to the right, not far from the road.
     Less conspicuous today are the tumuli. A few can be spotted in the vicinity of the chamber tombs, and many, hidden by trees and shrubs, lie on the skirt of Mt. Tmolus. These tumuli are relatively small compared to those of the Lydian "royal cemetery at Bin Tepe, 5 krh. north of Sardis. The latter can be seen from the Izmir-Ankara highway and make an impressive sight, especially in the early morning and late afternoon when the mounds are highlighted by the sun and cast deep shadows.
Anabatours - There Are Too Many Place To See     The photo of stele from Sardis, now in the Manisa Museum, mv. No. 1. Dated to 520-500 B.C. The inscription in Lydian identifies the owner of the stele and warns against damage or defacement:
"This is the stele of Atrastas/ son of Sakardas. And thus whoeven destroys or by misdeed (damages) I he shall pay. (And him?) and whateven/ possession (he may have?) thus/ to Artemis of Ephesos I vow
For a discussion of stele and inscription see G. M. A. Hanfmann and N. H. Ramage, Sculpture from Sczrdis: The Finds through 1975 ("Sardis Report, 2. Cambridge, Mass.1978) 55-56. 4 Pottery from a chamber tomb excavated by the Butler expedition and now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Imported wares from Athens and Sparta (bottom row, two vases at left) suggest a date in the middle of the 6th century B.C. for the offerings.Photograph courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Anabatours - There Are Too Many Place To See
Anabatours - There Are Too Many Place To See    The "Pyramid Tomb", now almost competely burid by landslides, is built of finely-worked limestone blocks No trace of the burial chamber survives H.C. Butler offered two possible reconstructions  of the monument: in C, as a complete stepped pryramid enclosing a burial chamber; and in D , as  a truncated pyramid supportinga small chamber. From Sardis (1992)

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