Wednesday, May 28, 2014

THE TREASURES OF PERGE

2014-Turkey-Antalya,Museum

In Antalya is a wonderful museum. Everything came from the ancient city of Perge, where St. Paul preached his first sermon.  Now a ruin, which was an optional tour for us, we decided we’d seen enough ruins especially when we knew the treasures of the city are beautifully located in the Antalya Archeological Museum.  Above is a link to the pictures I took. Many of them look best full screen anyway. A brief background and I’ll explain a few of the high points of the museum.

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First, Perge is nearby on the Black Sea. History is overlapping and it is never just one time period.

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The ancient primitive people lived in buildings like this, where they had to protect themselves and any domestic animals from lions and wild dogs and other predators. This is a hot area of the world and it was their practice to lay their dead out for the vultures and predators to remove the meat from the bones. They buried the bones by their doorstep, sometimes in clay jars. Archeologists believe after destructive earthquakes, one of the reasons people rebuilt on top of their ruins is because their ancestors were at their feet.

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This mock-up is of a Roman theater in nearby Aspendos considered the finest in the world. It was built in the second century AD and seated 15,000 people. Realize this part of Turkey is where Homer’s  Illiad and Odyessy was written, the myths of forest and sea came from here.

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A tribe of women archers, who were called Amazonians and were said to cut off one breast in order to shoot better came from this region. Though the cutting off of one breast is probably only a myth. This female statue is thought to have carried a bow.

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Certain marble statues in this museum are familiar. We’ve seen pictures of them. Its like we know them. They are famous personalities from Greek and Roman history. In many cases I photographed the black tag so that I could close up on it and read the name and history. It is too blurry to read so I cannot tell you who he is.

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Zeus I remember. This is a massive statue.

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The face of a powerful God, bigger than life.

Three Graces, Hera, Athena, Aphrodite, daughters of Zeus
The famous Three Graces. Athena, Aphrodite and Hera. Daughters of Zeus who were jealous of Medusa and turned her hair to snakes and gave her the evil eye.

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Hercules. If you’ll notice, the top of the statue is a different color than the bottom. His upper torso belonged to a woman in Boston and she donated it to the Boston Museum of Art. When the antiquities laws were enforced, Boston gave it up to Turkey, but the woman angrily claimed she had given it to Boston, and not Antalya. She demanded to be paid for it if it was moved out of the country. She was paid over a million dollars for the head of Hercules. He is now rejoined with the rest of his body in what is reportedly a happy ending.

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Usla told us about these marble sarcophagus. They are called flesh eaters. The heat melts the flesh almost instantly and in more primitive times, the bones were then removed and buried and the sarcophagus reused. At the height of Roman supremacy, the rich had their sarcophagus carved to represent themselves, their activity, or successes in battle and so on and they remained with their precious objects in life, in their tomb.

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One of the best preserved coffin lids; we could liken it to having our pictures taken.

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The carvings on the front are also well preserved. Damage from the grave robbers is on the back of this tomb. They’ve alll been smashed into.

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The tomb of a child with the parents weeping.
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No matter what age, we can all relate to the sadness of a child’s death.

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A tomb lid with a beautiful woman, who died young and was obviously loved and revered very much.

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Marble pieces from tombs or walls also tell a story of a lion fight, domestic animals and the taking of an
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Many of the statues were interesting for their clothing, or what instrument they played, or a pet, or tool they held. The corset this man wears has depictions of faces. Were they likenesses of foes he bested?  Or family members he loved?

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I never did figure out why this woman is holding her head in her lap. I expect nothing good happened to her.


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This was my favorite figure. Name unknown. But look at his casual pose. A contrarian. He didn’t want to be formal and stuffy. His character shows through the stone. And, why is he stepping on a turtle?

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I found Apollo in the head shop. I always thought Apollo was a man.

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Beautiful faces and hair.

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Personality shines through the stone. They are human. Like others, he couldn’t be matched to any of the arms and legs in the body shop.

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