Trip to western Turkey

We are just returning from a very stimulating and productive trip to western Turkey, where we have met several of our project partners. Between the 28th April and the 2nd May, we were guests of Dr. Felix Pirson Director of the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut and Director of the Pergamon Excavation, and Dr. Sabine Ladstätter Director of the Österreichisches Archäologisches Institut (OAI) and the OAI project at Ephesos. Both of them made us feel extremely welcome, and we are very grateful to them for all of their kind hospitality.

View of the Kane peninsula (photo S. Keay, RoMP)
View of the Kane peninsula (photo S. Keay, RoMP)


With Felix, we undertook an extensive visit of Pergamon, as well as key project sites along its maritime facade, most notably the port site of Elaia, where we saw the remains of its great mole projecting into the bay, as well as to Pitane (Çandarli) and Kane. The latter was a site where Sophie Hay (British School at Rome) undertook geophysical survey as part of the project in 2014, while the former is to be surveyed in September of this year. Interpretation of the results from both of these sites, in conjunction with those already undertaken by Felix and his team at Elaia, should start to help us better understand the port system of Pergamon and its place in the broader network of ports between Adramyttion to the north, and Myrina to the south.

View of the ancient harbour basin of Ehpesus (photo S. Keay, RoMP)
View of the ancient harbour basin of Ephesos (photo S. Keay, RoMP)


We were given a very warm welcome at Ephesos by Martin Steskal and Helmut Schwaiger, two key members of Sabine’s team. In preparation for the survey of one of the outer basins by Kris Strutt (University of Southampton) in September, we undertook a detailed visit of the remains of the extensive harbour area, and discussed the ways in which it might have worked, and similarities and differences between it and harbours at other project sites. There is little doubt that this collaborative work is going to add a very important dimension to the other archaeological, epigraphic and historical research being undertaken by the project. We look forward to a very stimulating discussion of all the field results at our ERC (RoMP) workshop at the British School at Rome on 28th and 29th January 2016.

Simon Keay and Nicolas Carayon (University of Southampton)

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