Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Update After Our Last Visit To The Site

Firstly I must apologise that this update has taken so long for me to get round to doing, it doesn't help that I find so much to take photos of every time we visit, and therefore have loads of photos to sift through and research what I have taken photos of.   Again as the walk was split into two blogs, this one being www.prieneturkey-walkwithme.blogspot.com and the first one www.priene-turkey.blogspot.com I will add the updates to the relevant blogs containing the original information.

Ok off we go .......

I had written previously about a chat I had had with some of the archaeologists on site who had been excavating an area of the housing on Water-gate Street, where they had found the foot print of a much larger house than had previously been found in Priene.  On this visit we were able to see more of their findings, including where they had dug now much further in the house to expose more of the walls and a doorway.



On one area of wall can be seen some articles that they unearthed while digging, including pieces of pot and some mortar with small stones embedded in it.



This piece of mortar is part of the wet floor area of this house, that has been identified as a possible bathhouse which was later robbed out (building material taken and used elsewhere) to extend the house.  Here you can see some of the wet floor, which is basically small stones covered in a mortar.





Here you can see some more of the walls of the house.



More of the circular area, that the archaeologists had to started to expose last time, can be seem more clearly now.  They say that this are could have been the fire for the bathhouse.



Here you can see two pieces of what I have identified as cannon balls.  As I had found out previously it was common practice in Turkey for cannon balls to made out of stone from abandoned villages and cities.  The work was carried out on site, so any cannon balls that did not make the grade were left behind.



The next two pictures show what appear to be pieces of column, throughout Priene there must have been thousands of columns standing tall and proud.




This looks like a piece of a flat stone dish or shallow stone basin.



You will see quite a bit of terracotta coloured pieces of pot or pieces of drainage pipe scattered around the site.



Here you can see one of the narrow streets that connect Water-gate Street to West-gate Street.  In the distance can be seen one of the sets of steps that take you up to the next level containing the Temple of Athena.



This looks like an intersection for some drainage pipes.


This bowl looks like a mortar as in a pestle and mortar used for grinding herbs and spices.


Here again are another couple of dish shaped vessels carved of stone.



I borrowed my husbands foot again to give you some idea of the size of these basins.  This one looks more like the shape of a basin that we are familiar with and even has a drainage hole in the centre.


These look like pedestals to basins, may be some of the basins we saw above?  Or they could be small columns for decoration?





The shape of this one reminds me of a stopper for a bottle!


Here you can see an area currently being excavated with several of these pedestals, which would suggest that they are pedestals for basins or other water carrying structure.


Shell fish was part of the staple diet of many cultures and so it is of no surprise to find shells around the site, especially as at one time the Plain of Büyük Menderes below the site was once below sea level.



Here you can see that there is still a lot more housing to be excavated, carpeted under a thick layer of pine needles.


This Red Underwing Moth was sitting on top of some of the leaf litter soaking up some of the sunshine, it was so well camouflaged we nearly trod on it.


We have also noticed that some areas of wall have been stabilised with mortar.  This is always a tricky issue as to whether it is a good thing or a bad thing messing with the the structures, but as has been done here, as long as you can see that it has been done purely as a measure and not to try and make the walls look more impressive, then I think it is a good thing.


Here we get another glimpse of West-gate Street, running along the centre of this shot, which we will be making our way too shortly.


We have now made our way to the far end of Water-gate Street and we can see part of what I think was the outer wall.


Here you get a real sense of how substantial the outer walls were with the outer skins constructed with substantial stone and the middle fiddled with soil and more stone.


We have walked back up West-gate Street and we are now back at the Bouleuterion.  Here we are standing looking through the left hand doorway into the Bouleuterion.



This piece of carved stone is just inside one of the doorways and could have been the base for a statue, as it is said that there were several statues here.


I am not sure if this could be a carved stone piece of decoration?


This is one of the niches just inside the left hand doorway which was said to contain a desk.


We are now standing at the top of the stone seating area looking down into the Bouleuterion with the alter in the centre.

 Here we are looking into the niche of the right hand side doorway.


There has been some more excavations being carried out on some of the housing above the Bouleuterion, it looks quite a jumble of blocks and stone at the moment.



Here you can see some more wall plaster in the corner of this wall,


and some drainage coming out from under this piece of stone.


Here you can see what looks like the imprint of a very large pot that has been unearthed.  In the bottom right of the picture you can see what looks like the neck of the pot.


They have gone down quite a long way unearthing these walls.


Here we are looking down Athena Street from the direction of the Temple of Athena back towards the area of the carpark.


These steps take you from The Temple of Athena down to West-gate Street and across the road to the Agora (Market Place).


Here is a carved piece of stone with a Greek Inscription, I would love to be able to read it.

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