How to design an archaeological circuit

In addition to traveling, Peter personally writes some of our cultural tours to Turkey each year.

How do you do an archaeological visit?
A range of quality ingredients is needed: quality websites, seamless logistics and a passionate and experienced guide. History is perhaps the most important thing for me when planning a tour. Not only do I want to organize a tour through a series of isolated historical ruins, but also to tell a fascinating story, a historical story in which every ancient city we visit is like a piece of the puzzle and more and more the history and culture the city. Region. Some stories are obvious in themselves, such as traveling through Turkey in the footsteps of Alexander the Great, but others require careful consideration.

It all starts with “recognition” exploring places in a planned touring area. For me it’s like a wonderful adventure, I’m like a kid in a pastry shop trying to decide where and how to start, maybe a bit of Greek or maybe Byzantium, maybe a small but intact temple, romantic in the olive groves or one big Roman city, like Ephesus, full of tourists. I love the energy and excitement of visiting new pages, but on Recce I’m busy with all the practical things that need to be thought out, especially how to bring together the most amazing sites in a captivating and consistent circuit.

Recognize your way
I remember the first time I did an archeological tour in the spring of 1996. A British travel agent asked me to travel to old Caria in Turkey eight days before traveling as a tour guide. At first, I declined because I did not go halfway and I did not think about taking a group I did not go to. When they called the next day and asked for it, I agreed that they would pick me up the next day and offer me a chauffeur jeep so that I could break the pages in a record round. It was a baptism of fire, but it suited me very much. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is that, no matter what you know about the story of a page, if you do not know it.

The best approach
In fact, the first thing I do when I stand by is to make the whole story disappear from my head. For me, the first step to making a website is a matter of practicality, including the question of where to start. Most of the time, I decide to avoid the main entrance and look at a place from a different angle, both physically and historically. I like to walk on an old road, if possible, as the sacred path that leads to the Temple of Apollo in Didyma. I like creating pieces like Stratonikeia, a Hellenistic foundation in Caria.

One kilometer from the main entrance, I make groups on a small path through trees, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, suddenly wrapped in a huge theater with a breathtaking view. If the location is too big, you can see a goat path in rural Turkey similar to the others. Sometimes it’s just about finding the best way.

Round in circles
As soon as I discover my journey on the website, I go through it again and again. Navigation around a site is essential. When I show a band, I do not want to spend my time finding my way and I want my itinerary to be planned in advance for the best possible historical and dramatic effect.

Thereafter, the libraries must be examined to obtain the latest reports on excavations and surveys. Here is a great travel guide, new knowledge, and a vivid perspective, instead of memorizing a game or material from old travel guides.

The meaning of the journey
Back in the office, the cards are out and it’s about collecting pages, history and logistics. Most of the tours that I organize are archeological cruises in Turkey on handmade wooden gulets. This is a great way to travel back in time, not only to avoid hotel conversions, roads and traffic, but also to explore ancient civilizations such as Lycians, which were mostly maritime. Ocean

What is nicer to visit a city like Knidos, where once stood the famous naked statue of Aphrodite of Praxiteles, to sail directly to their old trading port and anchor next to them. old anchor stones. Traveling is an important part of the stories that I tell, and whether it is a road or the sea, I always try to make transport a virtue by finding old parallels – be they wrecks, stories of travelers or tourists and classic pilgrims who visited the same places and even bought cheese souvenirs.

A story unfolds
Geography and logistics often make the difference in creating the last tour, but if I can, I want to start small and build. I think our Lycian cruise treats this idea almost perfectly. The first places are in beautiful places, but the ruins are rare. They give everyone the opportunity to orient themselves, to settle in the landscape and perhaps to admire a broken tomb, some engraved stones or some sculptures on the floor. Over the days, the sites become larger and more impressive, one with a Byzantine church, the other with a theater, another with a bath … each place offers an additional level of understanding, another facet of architecture and architecture of ancient city life. At that time we reached some of the largest places in the world – Aspendos with one of the best preserved Roman theaters and aqueducts, Perge, a city with wide boulevards and agoras lined with columns and marble baths – The group has already seen the basics and can indulge in this grandeur and splendor.

time coordination
The other essential element of creating an archaeological cycle is perhaps the chosen moment. Above all, do not come in too much. I’d rather give everyone the opportunity to sit in the theater and enjoy the scene, forget the sights, sing the birds and the atmosphere instead of being in a mission to three places a day in a flash. Do not travel in the warmer months, and even if the season is colder, avoid the heat of the day; For starters, the light is better early in the morning and later in the afternoon.

See more and more
Whether for lunch in a restaurant to make sure the rides are not too long, or for something unique, like swimming in Patara, where St. Nicholas was born when the sun went down like an orange ball Importance. If that means removing some good pages from the route, that’s fine, I still think it’s a good rule of thumb to leave unexplored places, so there’s always something special.

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