Wednesday, June 15, 2011
We drove through some pretty amazing countryside to get to Sardis. We really didn't know what to expect, thinking we would encounter something small like the site at Thyatira. When we drove into the town of Sart, we saw a sign that said "Temple of Artemis", so we follow the sign.
When we got to the end of the road, it wasn't really very clear where or what we were going to see here. After we went to the restroom and got our tickets, we ventured down this long path. We rounded a soft corner and there were columns standing at the far end of some kind of foundation. The above picture is of a close-up view of what the tops look like.
This is part of the base of one of the columns.
This is the whole site facing away from the entrance. I was in fact very disappointed at this point. I am wanting to find Roman letters carved in some of these stones and there was nothing! I really can't give you an idea of how big around these columns are around -- maybe a big tractor tire? I am amazed how these stones just seem to be tossed around. Piecing these giant buildings back together must be a daunting task. Terry and Doc had gone up the the little path you can barely see in the middle to the left of the columns. They were looking for the rest of city. It was hot and when they finally got back to Diane and I (who had retreated to shade and chairs) they to were disappointed. But, Diane had overheard some people ask where the gymnasium was located. So, we knew it was at another location. (At that moment Diane was the hero!) This city was huge and covered a lot of territory.
So we drove to the gymnasium which was located on the other side of Sart. We got out and headed for the site. We were able to park very close and that made it much nicer. This part has been reconstructed using some new materials along with the old. I am not real sure exactly what this place was but there seemed to be a swimming area off to left in this picture.
This view is from the back or what would have been the inside -- this does no justice to showing the size of this building. Doc and I were out here wondering around. We go clear to the back and up a rise. Actually, that is where I probably shot this picture. We were heading back around the side when I saw a sign that said "the Synagogue" so I began looking around. I was standing on some pretty exciting tiles, shooting pictures when Doc informed me that I was standing in the entrance.
This view is taken about halfway into the main section of the structure. I was fascinated by the different tile work that looks like our modern day quilts. In this area very bright colored tiles were used. As you can see below purples, blues and reds. They really were vibrant. The alter was flanked by lions and I loved the stadium area in the back -- I don't know who sat there exactly.
This became my all time favorite place in Turkey the moment Doc said "Sheryl, Paul preached here!" He walked on these tiles. Probably sat in that stadium area. Leaned against the door post at the entrance. I can now close my eyes and more clearly see what these places looked like -- I still can't believe it!
As we drove away from Sardis we could see where other places of exploration were underway. I can't wait to come back to this site and see what else they find. As we drive, we are always saying "Look there is piece of a wall" or "do you think that mound has something under it?" -- vineyards as far as the eye can see. Beautiful country side, so not what I expected in Turkey!
Hope to see you again soon -- Sheryl
Posted by Sheryl Sparks at 7:23 AM