Welcome to the Summer issue (2011.12) of the Asia Minor Report! The AMR seeks to inform scholars and students of early Judaism and Christianity in Asia Minor about recent historical and archaeological activities in Turkey. Please circulate this newsletter to colleagues and friends who might also be interested in these subjects. The Asia Minor Report is a publication of the Asia Minor Research Center and edited by its director, Dr. Mark Wilson



by Michael Blömer and Engelbert Winter

Istanbul: Homer Kitapevi, 2011,hardcover, 372 pages with numerous color illustrations and photographs.

Southeastern Turkey is undervisited compared to other regions. This volume should help to correct this deficiency as it commendably presents this area called in its subtitle, "The Land of Gods Between the Taurus and the Euphrates." The region’s most famous archaeological site is Nemrut Dağ, which is listed among UNESCO’s World Heritage sites. Thus after a general Introduction (pp. 10-47) of the history and archaeology of SE Turkey, the volume begins with a discussion of Nemrut and its environs (pp. 54-111). Given the prominence of Nemrut, the discussion of this unique Commagenian burial tumulus seemed too brief. Fortuitously the pioneering American Jewish female archaeologist Therea Goell and her work at Nemrut is mentioned. Subsequent chapters are arranged around key cities and their area sites: Adıyaman and Kayta, Besni and Araban, Rumkale and the Merzumen Valley, Gaziantep, Zeugma, and Kilis. Practical information on how to find the sites mentioned is necessary because most are remote and obscure. Carchemish is briefly mentioned and hopefully with excavations beginning there again, it will develop into a major site. However, it is disappointing to read about the ongoing vandalism of sites in this area, especially the destruction of the Assyrian relief dating from Shalmaneser III, from a cliff near Rumkale.

Gods Carved in Stone

by Jürgen Seeher

Istanbul: Ege Yayınları, 2011, 206 pages with 8 plan diagrams, 60 drawings, 23 B & W and 152 color photographs.

Jürgen Seeher presents what its subtitle says, "The Hittite Rock Sanctuary of Yazılıkaya." Seeher is a recognized expert on Hattusha and directed the excavations there from 1994 to 2005. Ege has also published German and Turkish editions as well. The volume serves as a step-by-step guide to the sanctuary near the Hittite capital in central Turkey. Photographs and drawings of each relief are presented along with a detailed description of the relief’s meaning. Another chapter discusses the buildings of Yazılıkaya. The book closes with an attempt at reconstruction of the sanctuary and a review of the history of research at the site. Visitors to Boğazkale along with students of Hittite civilization should make this required reading.

Selected Findings and Coins from Ancient Smyrna 2007–2009

by Akın Ersoy and Mehmet Önder

İzmir: İzmir Chamber of Commerce, 2011, paperback, 96 pages, with two or three color illustrations per page and a one-page bibliography

The AMR wants to thank Akın Ersoy, director of the Smyrna agora excavations, for recently showing the editor and his friends the current excavations at the agora. Prof. Dr. Ersoy graciously provided a copy of a new publication to the AMRC library, Selected Findings and Coins from Ancient Smyrna 2007–2009. The paperback volume is authored by Ersoy and Mehmet Önder and published by the İzmir Chamber of Commerce. Published in both Turkish and English, the volume consists of a brief history of Smyrna and its archaeology (pp. 11–19), a section of selected findings (pp. 22–65), and a catalog of selected coins (pp. 68–95). This volume provides a helpful update regarding the excavations at the agora, a must stop while visiting İzmir.


Olba XIX

Olba XIX, published by the Mersin University Research Center of Cilician Archaeology, has recently been released. This issue, comprising 418 pages, features 17 articles in Turkish, English, and German. An abstract in English precedes the Turkish articles. B & W photos, drawings, and plans accompany the articles. C. Şimşek and M. A. Sezgin summarize their findings in the North Theater of Laodicea (in Turkish; pp. 173–201). This theater was started in the Hadrianic period and dates later than the West Theater. It was also used for water games. Numerous inscriptions found on the seats reveal that leading families, guilds such as the purple dyers, and associations had reserved places to sit. M. Oktan reviews various dating hypotheses in his article on "The Route Taken by Cilicia to Provincial Status: When and Why?" (pp. 267–86), concluding that Cilicia became a province in 80 BC with Dolabella as its first governor. Other biblical sites mentioned in Turkish articles include Pamphylia, Cilicia, Lycia, Pisidia, Nicomedia, and Tarsus.

Adalya XIV

Adalya XIV, published by the Suna & Inan Kıraç Research Institute on Mediterranean Civilizations (AKMED) in Antalya, is now available. The journal features 19 articles in Turkish, English, German, and French in 344 pages. Abstracts in English are provided with Turkish articles. B & W photographs, drawings, and site plans often accompany the articles. A useful element in both journals is the extensive bibliographies that accompany each article. J. Bennett addresses the question "Why did Claudius Annex Lycia?" (pp. 119-36). İ. Delemen discusses "The Colossal Statue of Lucius Verus Recently Discovered in Perge" (pp. 297-314). B. Varkıvanç and H. Kökmen provide an overview of the monumental tombs in Attalia (in Turkish; pp. 223-35). Because of AMR’s interest in Roman roads, Ü. Aydinoğlu and Ü. Çakmak’s article on "A Rural Settlement in the Rough Cilicia-Isauria Region: Karakaba-klı" (pp. 71–101) caught our eye. It mentions the well-preserved road between the settle-ment and Corasium. M. Özsait, G. Labarre, and N. Özsait present (in French; pp. 267-86) new inscriptions and monuments found near the Roman colony of Apollonia.

News and Notes

The AMR wants to thank Linford Stutzman for the opportunity to spend a day sailing with him from Finike to Andriake in July on his boat "Sailing Acts." Stutzman authored a book of the same name that chronicles his adventures while sailing in Paul's wake in the eastern Mediterranean. Stutzman will release a new volume with Wipf & Stock this fall entitled With Paul at Sea. While viewing the excavations at the Andriake agora, particularly around the murex production works, we appreciated the helpful explanation given by area director Afşin Aygün of Akdeniz University.

Nevzat Çevik is the director of the excavations at Myra and Andriake as well as the editor of a recent volume entitled Arkeolojisinden Doğasına Myra/Demre ve Çevresi ("From Archaeology to Nature: Myra/Demre and its Environs"). AMRC appreciates the gracious donation of a copy to its library. The paperback volume, published by the T.C. Kültür ve Turizm Bakanlığı Yayını, is 400 pages long in Turkish only. However, the excellent site plans, drawings, and photographs would benefit anyone who is doing research on these important classical/biblical sites.

AMR does not typically mention the publication of books outside of Turkey, but must make an exception in the case of Building a New Rome: The Imperial Colony of Pisidian Antioch edited by Elaine I. Gazda and Diana Y. Ng. It is published by the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology at the University of Michigan. Included with the 219 pages of B & W illustrated text is a 7:24 minute DVD movie of "Virtual Antioch." The wonderful reconstructions posted in the Yalvaç Museum are found in the volume. Nine chapters cover the history, architecture, and religions of this important biblical city. The Kelsey Museum sponsored excavations at Pisidian Antioch in 1924, and it is noteworthy to see the university’s ongoing engagement with the site, especially using state-of-the-art technology to present it.

The Asia Minor Report is a quarterly publication of the Asia Minor Research Center Turkey. 

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please contact the AMRC director Dr. Mark Wilson at markwilson@sevenchurches.org