3.18.2009

Halicarnassus

Halicarnassus, modern Bodrum, is another site which is easy to interpret using Google Earth. The town was famous for its two harbors, as well as for producing two female naval commanders, both named Artemisia.





The palace of the 4th century Hecatomnid Satraps was on the promontory seen in the middle of the main view. The site was where the oldest signs of habitation have been found, and given its strategic position - it was also chosen as the site of their castle by the Knights of Rhodes (19th century photos here) - it was probably also the location of Artemisia I's palace.



This detail of the promontory shows the location of the temple of Apollo, which probably stood there at the time of the Persian wars. An Archaic temple of Athena has recently been located, and we have a fourth century temple of Mars to the north, but no temple of Artemis has been found - yet.


Most visitors, as at Troy, are unimpressed by the site of the famous Mausoleum of Halicarnassus. It was first excavated / looted by the Knights of Malta - they found the tomb chamber, but then claimed the gold had 'vanished' overnight ... It was then re-excavated by Newton in the 19th century: his photos here. The tomb was begun by Mausolus, and finished by his sister-widow Artemisia II. One of the few preserved finds from the tomb however is also the only physical object we can link to Artemisia I ...


The theater at Halicarnassus is much later, since stone theaters did not exist around 480 BC - it may well be a reflection of an earlier structure on the site though.

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