Saturday, 12 September 2015

The Fortified Entrance to the Eastern Harbour of Myndos

Below is a link to an article published by the Turkish Underwater Archaeology Foundation (TINA) in their TINA Maritime Archaeology Periodical No 3 2015

The article in both Turkish and English, with detailed underwater photographs, describes the work by Assistant Professor Dr Oktay Dumankaya of Karamanmaraş Sütçü Imam University who has surveyed the remains of the fortified entrance to the harbour at Myndos.

For those interested in Turkish underwater archaeology, a link to the TINA Facebook site:

TINA Facebook Page

Monday, 31 August 2015

2015 Excavations, Hiatus or Termination of a Fractious Relationship

Is it possible that Prof Şahin and the archaeologists from Uludağ University have given up on the Myndos excavations at Gümüşlük?

A press article earlier this month may suggest that they could have moved on to pastures new:
Maybe Prof Şahin and the UU Archaeology Dept have finally decided to give up on Gümüşlük and its public & political machinations and move to a site where their efforts will be better appreciated.  

Initially there was a good relationship between the archaeologists and the residents, businesses and the Municipality but by 2007 the excavations had been suspended. When excavations recommenced in 2009 the official line was that the majority of the ancient city identified in 2005-2006 was on private land, and Rabbit Island was the only publicly owned land available to continue the research.

An alternative view could be that the locals, who originally thought that the archaeology may have been a way to boost the tourism, became concerned when they realised the extent of the remains and the consequences that increased protection orders would have on any plans for developing the area, considered Rabbit Island to be a safer bet. After all none of the historians and antiquarians who had previously visited the area e.g. G E Bean, J M Cook, W R Paton, C T Newton etc had ever suggested that there may be anything of interest on the island, other than the remains of a much later fort. I doubt even Prof Şahin envisaged the extent of the archaeological remains he was to uncover in the subsequent 5 years.

However the success of the excavations and the publicity regarding this previously little known period of the village’s history brought about a further rift in the relationships between the archaeologists and the residents.

For years people had been wading across to the island having heard of the local legend of the “Kings Road” and tales of King Mausolus and his Queen crossing to watch the sunset from the island. Residents associated with the tourist industry must have been rubbing their hands as the press covered stories of burials, skulls with nails driven in to them, the remains of a previously unknown early Christian church, a pre Christian temple and a dedication to a Roman Emperor. But unfortunately all that greeted the visitors was a barbed wire fence and keep out signs.

Whist it is understandable that the archaeologists needed to protect the exposed features, (and the open trenches and excavated structures such as the cisterns would be a public liability nightmare), I do think that more effort could have been made to provide information boards with photographs, perhaps even a small exhibition of some of the finds. 

In 2013 an association was launched by Turkish film star Salih Güney, with Prof Şahin as president, to promote and protect the ancient city of Myndos. This was a short lived alliance which ended acrimoniously after approximately 12 months. This time the disagreements were centred around the perceived slow rates of the excavations, disagreements over the protection of tombs and the alleged failure to secure funding for the excavation of the theatre. Reports in the Turkish press appear to suggest that Mr Güney referred to the Professor as the Mole of Myndos, digging little holes everywhere; in his reply Prof Şahin apparently likened Mr Güney to the adventure film character Indiana Jones.

The reasons for this year’s cancellation are unclear but the animosity between to the two sides cannot be helping the situation. Let’s hope that they can kiss and make up, and that this is just a temporary suspension of activities in Gümüşlük

Links to reports describing some of the disputes

Monday, 24 August 2015

2015 Excavations Cancelled

There have been two articles in the Turkish press over the last few days regarding the cancellation of the excavations in 2015 



Neither appears to say why, and there are no comments on the Uludağ University web site or the Myndos Facebook page.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Campaign to Preserve Part of Myndos’ Necropolis Fails as Road Reopens

Under pressure from residents and local shopkeepers the local authorities have backfilled the tomb excavation and reopened the Gümüşlük to Yalikavak road.

An artist impression of what might have been

What the site looks like today

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Geophysical Surveys

In an earlier post it was mentioned that Professor Şahin had published an article “Eine karische Hafenstadt an der kleinasiatischen Westküste” (Myndos. A Carian Port on the West Coast of Asia Minor) in a German journal “Antike Welt”

The article contains the results of a series of geophysical surveys conducted during 2011 to 2013. A new page has been added with a summary of the findings which include a building on Kocadağ and the possible location of one of the Myndos' city gates.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Addition to the Harbours Page

A brief description of the Western Harbour, based on Prof Şahin’s article in May 2004, along with a few photographs of the exposed structures in Dönmezler Bay has been added to the Harbours page.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

New Page The Harbours

I’ve created a new page Harbours, and have posted an outline of Professor Şahin’s article on the Inner Harbour. I must stress that it is not a translation or a review of the article in TINA, I have neither the linguistic skills nor the academic qualifications to do either; it is just my best guess at the contents based on the results obtained from two online translation programmes.

I have been limited to Google earth screen shots to identify the areas discussed and I recommend that you download the article, even if like me you don’t read Turkish, there are some impressive aerial & underwater photographs of the area, features and finds.   

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

The Archaeology of Portus

Not Myndos related, but the University of Southampton are running a free, 6 week, online course through Future Learn, titled Archaeology of Portus: Exploring the lost harbour of Rome

I’ve just finished week one and found it quite interesting, along with the videos, photos, downloads and text associated with the course there are plenty of additional links and references for those who want to delve a little deeper. 

Sunday, 25 January 2015


Beach Music
             Music on a beach has always had a certain allure about it. A circle of friends around an open fire singing to a lone guitar, or a few instruments played by a group of musicians to entertain people.     

            Gümüşlük over the years has been party to all forms of musical evenings:
 Cesel restaurant  in the mid 90’s had  an impromptu Turkish dance band formed using up-turned buckets and other assorted metal objects, in order that Raki fuelled tourists could sample Turkish dancing, not, I remember of the highest standard, but certainly a great party atmosphere.

           Also at Cesel a friend of ours serenaded his wife on her Birthday singing a Saw Doctors song ‘Only one girl’ With the two Turkish brothers who owned Cesel, singing in close harmony with the rest of us the Chorus line ‘Only one girl for me’, in retrospect a rather surreal moment.

          At the same restaurant in 2006 ( the owners had changed, it had undergone a complete refurb and was called  Amavi) on its opening night the World renowned Turkish jazz pianist Kerem Gorsev and his trio played a memorable set to a packed restaurant and beach.

          It must be pointed out that  Cesel resembled a working man’s club. In comparison Amavi was Claridges.

          Late one night, on the beach outside the Hera restaurant in the mid to late 90’s. Yilmos the Turkish waiter had, after one or three Rakis, persuaded an English visitor who had a guitar, to play the only English song Yilmos said he knew the words to, ‘Hotel California’. As the song was played it became very clear that the only lyric Yilmos knew was ‘Hotel California’. Which, he proceeded to sing at the correct moment in the song, each time louder with added Raki.

          During the later part of 2000, more Turkish people from Istanbul have made  Gümüşlük their summer destination. Quite a few of the Istanbulian  musicians and acting fraternity come for holidays, with some musicians working at the restaurants and clubs on the beach front.

          The Jazz Cafe just down from the Hera  hold regular sets by different artists , sometimes including  guest performances by visiting musicians.  One such session in September 2014, had, as a guest musician, someone we had got to know over the past few years as he had been staying at Hera, a session musician by the name of Toygun. He normally plays saxophone, but on this particular evening he played the clarinet.  A little flavour of the performance that evening can be seen on:

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Underwater Surveys of the Inner Harbour at Myndos

Professor Şahin has been busy, he’s posted another article on This time it’s a piece titled MYNDOS IÇ LİMAN SUALTİ ARAŞTIRMALARI -2014 (Underwater Surveys of the Inner Harbour at Myndos) which was published in Issue 2014 No 1-2 of TINA, a periodical issued by the Turkish Foundation For Underwater Archaeology.

Like the last article it’s not available to view at the moment but can be downloaded as a PDF

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Myndos. Eine karische Hafenstadt an der kleinasiatischen Westküste (Myndos. A Carian Port on the West Coast of Asia Minor)

Professor Şahin has recently posted an eleven page article titled Myndos. Eine karische Hafenstadt an der kleinasiatischen Westküste (Myndos. A Carian Port on the West Coast of Asia Minor) on

The article by Prof Şahin was originally published in current edition (6/2014 dated 21-11-14) of “Antike Welt” (Ancient World) a German journal of archaeology and cultural history.

I had trouble viewing the article but it is available to download.