Turkey 2016–Part 15 The Hellenistic Fortress at Lydai

Turkey 2016–Part 15 The Hellenistic Fortress at Lydai July 7, 2016

Guarding the coast of the mainland of Asia Minor could not have been easy. Too many peninsula’s sticking out into the water, too many coves for pirates or invaders to hide in, but it’s clear that from the Hellenistic era on, if not before, the effort was made to protect the land from invasion. On the Gulet boat ride to the island of Kos we stopped in a cove over which hovered the remains of a Hellenistic fortress at Lydai, not accessible by land these days. Of course we climbed up to the top of it to check out the fabulous view. Along the way we found some inscriptions near the top. The walls were indeed formidable….

hel1hel2hel3hel4 Here’s the view from below….hel5 These walls were built carefully of limestone, with proper drainage spouts.
hel6 I doubt this primitive hammer could have accomplished much with that stone, but it was found on the penisula…hel7 Here’s the view from the top….
hel8 Pictures always get taken at the top… here’s me with Levent….. Yes, I know, I’ve been eating too much good Turkish kabab….. hel9 Here’s the inscriptions, as promised. The first one is faint but seems to say ‘holy place’ which means sacrifices and prayers would have been offered here.hel10

The second inscription is clearer and appears to involve some names, but there is not enough of it left to fully decipher it…hel11
One of the things one must accept about digging up the past is that the evidence is partial, often hard to interpret, and one has to resist the temptation to fill in the gaps or over-read the evidence.

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