A SMALL excavation team have beguns works on the ‘Sacred Road’ which runs between the ancient cities of Miletus and Didim.
Head of Excavation in Didim since 2003, German Anreas Furtuöngler said the excavations in the ancient city of Didyma and the renovation works at the Apollon Temple had restarted Monday August 4.
Furtuöngler said the renovation works at the temple would continue for about two and a half months with a team of 24 people and the excavations, which were carried out in the area of Rabbit Island and Forestry Camp last year, would focus this year on the area known as the Sacred Road.
Furtuöngler said that they were following tracks of the Sacred Road in the excavations and had not yet come across any significant findings but only pieces of ceramic.
He said the land route running and the houses on top of the sacred Road had a diverse effect on their work, while traffic on the road around the Apollon Temple was damaging the temple.
Furtuöngler pointed out that the temple was damaged by nature through earthquakes and also by humans through plunderers and undisciplined tourists.
He said there were two officers at the gate but not a single watch in the temple, which was a great defect in controlling the temple and protecting the historical works.
Archaeologist Christoph Kronewirth, running the renovation works, said undisciplined tourists had to be taken under control and believed the road running by the temple had to be closed for traffic.
God of sun, music and prophecy, Apollon is an Anatolian god whose roots go back to the Hittites.
According to myth, God Apollon comes across shepherd Brankhos one day. He likes him a lot and teaches him the secrets of prophecy.
The shepherd Brankhos builds the first temple in the name of Apollon in the laurel grove and by the water spring, where the present temple is now.
The Apollon Temple, where merchants sailing from Panormos Harbour and soldiers would seek for prophecies and sacrifice for the gods, well-known for the Medusa Head is now identified with Didim.
For more technical stuff on the temple, see the entry in the Perseus catalog ... plenty of good photos at flickr ...