AAR 2011 Spring Trip Takes Fellows To Three Regions of Turkey

The American Academy in Rome has its fair share of traditions, but one of the most hallowed is its annual Spring Trip for Fellows. Each year, for seven to ten days, a substantial AAR contingent packs up for a didactic jaunt through a Mediterranean area of particular scholarly and artistic interest.

For last year’s Trip, AAR Fellows combined with Members of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens for an expansive journey through Sicily. This year the target was Turkey, with a particular focus on central Anatolia.

A group of ten from the AAR made the trek to Turkey from 25 March-1 April 2011. Principal cities visited were Istanbul (briskly), Antalya on the south coast, Konya, then  (in Cappadocia) Nevşehir and Kayseri. But there was a lot in between, as the images below aim to suggest.

Saturday 26 March: Aya Sofia, Istanbul. From left, AAR Fellows Elizabeth Robinson, Stephanie Malia Hom, Tyler Travillian

Sunday 26 March: Perge, with its well-preserved stadium (above) and monumental colonnade of the city center. In photo above, Laurie Rush, Elizabeth Robinson, Douglas Reed

Roman theater at Aspendos, perhaps the best preserved anywhere

Aqueduct at Aspendos, one of the few for which we know the cost

Audio sampling a sheep: Fellow in Musical Composition Paul Rudy with digital recorder

Monday 27 March: Myra, with its Lycian tombs cut into the cliffs, and compact theater. Above: Fellow in Historic Preservation and Conservation Laurie Rush

At Myra, views of theater, and church of St. Nicholas (before he became Santa Claus). In center photo, AAR Resident in Landscape Architecture Douglas Reed

Break for lunch, on the coastal road east toward Phaselis

Tuesday 28 March: at the Antalya Archaeological Museum, breathtaking sculptural finds from Perge (above), and mosaic portraits of Solon and Thucydides from Seleuceia (below)

The ascent toward Konya (ancient Iconium)

At the Mevlâna Museum (Konya), originally the lodge of the 13th century Mevlevi dervish sect. From left: Stéphanie Nadalo, Murat Eroğul (guide, pointing), Tyler Travillian, Douglas Reed, Elizabeth Robinson (partially obscured), Laurie Rush, Stephanie Malia Hom, William Makris

Representations of dervish ceremony at the Mevlâna Museum (Konya)

Wednesday 29 March: exiting through (perhaps unique) whirling dervish door, Laurie Rush

On the Konya plain, exploring ongoing excavations at the spectacular Neolithic city of Çatalhöyük

The fortified Sultanhanı Caravanserai (built 1229), about 40 km west of Aksaray

Underground city (apparently Byzantine period), Saratlı Belediyesi, near Aksaray

Natural rock fortress at Uçhisar, the highest point in Cappadocia

Cave dwellings (some evidently still occupied) in Nevşehir region

Thursday 30 March, 6 AM: Fellow in Ancient Studies Elizabeth Robinson prepares for aerial observation of Red and Rose valleys near Göreme

Now aloft, Fellows Paul Rudy (above, first photo); Tyler Travillian (fourth photo); Elizabeth Robinson (sixth photo)

Now from the ground, Göreme Open-Air Museum

Early afternoon hike through an eroded tuff field near Avanos: Corey Brennan (above); Paul Rudy (below)

Early evening at caravanserai at Sarihan: preparing to view whirling dervish ceremony. Above: Stephanie Malia Hom; below (from left) Andrew Riggsby, Stéphanie Nadalo, Tyler Travillian

Mellon Professor Corey Brennan led the trip for the AAR, and Permissions Associate Giulia Barra organized it. From Antalya to Kayseri, Murat Eroğul expertly served as local guide, and Adnan Gigek drove the bus, including on some often tortuous routes. Special thanks also to Zeynep Akçakayalıoğlu and Hasan Akçakayalıoğlu, who generously hosted the AAR group in Istanbul and provided valuable advice on the city and on the country.

From left, at Aspendos, AAR Mellon Professor Corey Brennan; Resident Douglas Reed; Fellows Andrew Riggsby, Stephanie Malia Hom, Paul Rudy, Tyler Travillian, Laurie Rush; William Makris; Fellows Stéphanie Nadalo, Elizabeth Robinson

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