Turkey 2016–Part 26– The Hippocratic Institute

Among the various surprising things on the island of Kos is the Hippocratic Institute, where doctors and others meet who are interested in the pursuit of the goals of good medicine. Hippocrates and Galen were the two most famous 'founders of medicine' in antiquity, and Hippocrates in particular took a more passive, let the body heal itself approach, with the motto 'do no harm'. Here's a bust of the man himself found in the museum at the Institute.... Here is perhaps a more exact image of … [Read more...]

Turkey 2016 Part 25– the Asclepion at Kos

Let's start with a drawing of what the giant Asclepion temple would have originally looked like when completed. And here's an artist's rendering--- To say this place was massive is an understatement, and it required some real effort to get up to the temple site. The lower terrace is interesting as well, where we found one creature bringing his offering for a sacrifice. In case you're wondering he has a still live lizard in his mouth.... There is a fountain on the lower terrace with … [Read more...]

Turkey 2016–Part 24— Kos the Town

In some ways Kos is like a much smaller version of the Greek island of Rhodes, with the same sort of quaint town and shops, and ruins. Here, as on Rhodes the Knights of St. John had a center, and helped build a castle. They were called Hospitallers because they were dedicated to the care of the ill. The group is named after John the Baptizer not the apostle John, and they seem to have been formed in Jerusalem somewhere around 1000 A.D. You still see evidence of their presence on Kos, including … [Read more...]

Turkey 2016–Part 23 The Journey to Kos

Bodrum is a beautiful city with an imposing castle. We only spent a little time there, as the Gulet boat was waiting to take us to the Greek island of Kos. I guess you could call it a Kos effective journey :) Here's the instigator of these adventures my old friend and newly baptized follower of Jesus, Levent. It's hard to describe how beautiful the Aegean sea is..... Homer spoke of the 'wine dark' seas, and they are indeed a deep color, a deep blue to be exact. We had however some … [Read more...]

Turkey 2016– Part 22– Bodrum and Underwater Archaeology

Bodrum was an ancient Roman fortified port city. It would be from here that we sailed on the Gulet boat to the island of Kos to see the famous Asclepion. But first we visited the leading underwater archaeology institute in the old world....just fascinating. The lab is not big, but it does important work, because it enables the recovery of sunken ship booty and artifacts to enhance our knowledge of ancient sailing vessels and their cargo, and life in general in the ancient world. The director and … [Read more...]

Turkey 2016–Part 21– The Miletus Museum

Somehow, some way, I have always managed to get to Miletus when the museum was closed. Not this time! Let's start with the new stuff in the courtyard outside of the museum.... here's something I've never seen before, a memorial depicting the cages that the animals would be transported in, for them to participate in the gladiatorial games..... amazing! Here are some other animal monuments found outside the museum....Miletus was a very important city in antiquity, a religious pilgrimage … [Read more...]

Turkey 2016–Part 20– The Ephesus Meeting

Visting Ephesus is always special, and Levent Oral has somehow figured out a way for us to meet there after hours for some lectures and some singing every May....We meet on the steps of the spectacular Celsus library which dates to the second century A.D. Here's me with my guide Meltem....In this case it was a perfect 70 degree night with a light breeze, and two west coast and one Australian university groups in attendance. Here's what the library would have looked like in antiquity on … [Read more...]

Turkey 2016–Part 19– The New Izmir Museum

The 'new' (not really that new) Izmir museum is in a large park complex that has several museums in it, but our interest is strictly in the one that has the antiquities in it. There are some remarkable pieces here, not least the almost entirely intact statue of Kaistros the river god whose water brought fertility.... There are also ancient winged chairs of note, but don't try to sit in them..... One of the more hilarious artifacts is the small head of the god Eros, who in this case looks like … [Read more...]

Turkey 2016–Part 18– Old Smyrna

Whenever you explore ancient sites in Turkey, you realize what a role earthquakes play in the way towns rise and fall, and move and develop. This was certainly part of the picture in what today is called Beyrakli, or old Smyrna, the one, according to the story that Alexander had the dream about and told the people to move. What there is to see at Beyrakli are several things, the remains of some columns, the remains of the ancient temple of Athena, the city walls, and the main city gates, a … [Read more...]