Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Day Two- The Anatolian Center and the Archeological Museum

Our day started with a quick bus ride to the Northern part of Istanbul, across the Golden Horn. There, we went to the Anatolian Center of Koc University where Dr. Scott Redford talked to us about archeology and his work in Turkey.The Anatolian Center, in addition to having amazing views, is a center for research where he brings 25 lucky fellows each year to do graduate and post-graduate research in archaeology, art history, language, etc. He also introduced us to a more "practical" and economic side to history and archeology that I found interesting: he mentioned how it was necessary to talk to the local people at excavation sites, educate the public about their history, focus on smaller and older sites rather than sites that simply demand attention due to their large nature, and to protect the excavated sites like Ephesus from looters, for example.

For lunch, we explored down Istiklal Cadessi (the picture to the right was taken while exploring down this road), which eventually led to Taksim Square, and found a small pastry shop. I also tried some pistachio baklava which was delicious!

After lunch, we gathered again to explore Istanbul's Archaelogical Museum (to the left). The museum features three smaller buildings housing one million artifacts. There were three major artifacts that we saw: the treaty of Kadesh, the Alexander Sarcophagus, and the Karaman Mihrab. The Treaty of Kadesh is the world's oldest surviving peace treaty and was between the Hittites and the Egyptians. The Alexander Sarcophagus, a carved marble sarcophagus for King Ahdalonymos of Sidon, features Alexander the Great's victory over the Persians. Interestingly, Alexander was depicted not as a great leader of the battle, but as a regular warrior. Lastly, we went to the Cinili Pavillion, a palace that housed the Karaman Mihrab. The palace was originally built to be a pleasure palace where emporers stored treasures to show off to visitors. The mihrab was magnificently tiled, but the entire building was a piece of art itself- wonderfully decorated and adorned. Today's explorations were full of beautiful Byzantine, Ottoman and Turkish treasures!

1 comment:

  1. Wow - great post and photos. Such a fantastic trip. Thanks for sharing!! Say hi to Jacquie!