One of the most outstanding monuments of Silifke’s (Silifke/ Mersin/ Turkey) rich archeological heritage is Uzuncaburç (Diocaesarea). This was the sacred site of the Kingdom of Olba. Ura, the capital of the kingdom, was the place of worship. Archeological excavations still continue here. There was only Zeus Olbios Temple and High Tower in the Hellenistic period.
Under the Roman domination, the sacred site was separated from Olba and turned into an indepent city. The city was given the name Diocaesarea (Emperor God City) and it began developing rapidly. The city was surrounded by walls 400 meters by 300 meters. It was embellished by columned streets, the temple of fortune, theaters, sports facilities and fountains. The city minted Roman coins in its name (Diocaesarean).
The Byzantine period began with the advent of Christianity in the 5th century. And then Turkish period began after 1071. It stands at an altitude of 1,184 meters from the sea. There are many buildings in Uzuncaburç. ❗ Only these are reached to our time.
? Columned Street ? Ceremonial Gate
? Fountain Building ? Zeus Olbios Temple
? Hellenistic High Tower ? Tyche Temple
? City Gate ? City Walls
? Theatre ? Ancient Cemetery
The cemetery was built on two different slopes of the valley north of the ancient city. The area where these carved rock tombs are still carries traces of the period. I want to share with you an interesting experience that I lived when I went there.
I went there with my family. We were eight people. We did not neglect to capture photos. It was a wonderful and tiring trip. When I back home and looked at the photos, one of the photographs caught my attention. One of the photographs taken in the ancient cemetery. There was a silhouette on my chest. It looked like profile view. I thought ıt could not be an insect stuck to the camera. And when I looked carefully I could see that ıt was really a human bust. It had characteristic facial bones. It really looked like Greek men. I don’t know what to say, ıt or he?
They saw the same thing when I showed photograph to the people around me. You know that I’m an artist and I tried to draw this thing i saw. And I drawn. It was almost the same. I began to feel weird in the minutes. My hands started to tremble. This feeling was sucks. Then I broke my artwork and threw it away. It felt good. There were many copies of this photo. In our phones and computers. Even prints. Someday as family, we were looking at our photos again. And the photo suddenly appeared in a different form. The photo was deleted from the point where the silhouette was. The normal parts of the photo stood the same. But where did the rest of it go? How could this happen? We perceived it as a warning. And we erased all existing copies. So there is no evidence I can show you. This might sound crazy. But we lived this. Especially me.
Uzuncaburç is the one of the places I would like to see again. This trip and the things I live there was stunningly gorgeous. I think we will hear the name of this place more often in the near future.
Please don’t hesitate to share your comments and your thoughts.