Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Post from the Prodigal Blogger

I have been incommunicado for the vast majority of this field season. That is partly due to the immense shame Brandon et al. have instilled in me by being extremely proficient bloggers. It is also due to the fact that I spent the majority of my time doing GIS work in the lab, and to be honest, we are trying to attract more readers, not bore them to tears.

However, since the end of the 2008 field season, I have been steadily making my way northwards in a zigzagging pattern to reach my flight leaving Istanbul on August 4th. I will post an entry for each new stop along the way.

The remaining members of the Mopsos Project parted ways early in the morning on June 27th in Adana. Mike, Muge and Dr. Scham left around 2:30 in the morning from the Osta Hotel and Amanda and Dr. Killebrew departed a few hours later. I woke up around 7 AM that morning to find myself alone in Turkey. Thankfully, Muge and Volkan had prepared me for making my way in a Turkish world.

My goal for that day was Konya. Most of what I could tell you about Konya is not much more than you could find on Wikipedia. I was going primarily for its proximity to Çatal Höyük--one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. Çatal Höyük, located about an hour away from Konya, is known primarily as one of the earliest cases of human sedentism and permanent architecture in the world. It is also the site where the well-known archaeologist Ian Hodder has conducted much of his work.

Konya itself is known mainly in the West as the birthplace of the Mevlevi Order of Sufic Islam (aka "whirling dervishes"). Again, Wikipedia can provide more information than I possibly could. However, I must say that I found comfort in one of the Mevlana's most famous sayings as I explored the city:

Come, come, whoever you are,
Wanderer, idolater, worshiper of fire,
Come even though you have broken your vows a thousand times,
Come, and come yet again.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.

Next up: Göreme

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