Harboring Fugitives
Tuesday January 24th 2012, 2:17 pm
Filed under: Archeology

A new find in Turkey promises to be as wonderful as Ostia Antica is in Italy. Here’s a bit of the New York Times’ take.

The find is Bathonea, a substantial harbor town dating from the second century B.C. Discovered in 2007 after a drought lowered the lake’s water table, it has been yielding a trove of relics from the fourth to the sixth centuries A.D., a period that parallels Istanbul’s founding and its rise as Constantinople, a seat of power for three successive empires — the Eastern Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman.

… Bathonea (pronounced bath-oh-NAY-uh) has the potential to become a “library of Constantinople,” says Sengul Aydingun, the archaeologist who made the initial discovery…

Roman glass and high-end pottery dating as late as the 14th century were found throughout the site. Marble, including a gorgeous milky-blue variety, lined the walls and floors of the church and at least one of the buildings.
Also discovered were hundreds of bricks stamped “Konstans,” which were produced in Constantinople beginning in the fifth century and had mostly been discovered at imperial sites like Hagia Sophia, the sixth-century architectural marvel and primary cathedral of the Byzantine Empire for almost 900 years, and nearby Rhegion, a fifth-century compound on a hill across the lake from Bathonea, overlooking the Marmara Sea.

Read the rest of the story.


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