After many years of attempting to get to South East Anatolia ourselves (and failing), our dear friend of over 30 years, Ismet Odabashi, arranged a spectacular visit
We went to see the ruins of Göbekli Tepe, a 12,500 year old temple sanctuary, with fabulous detailed stone carvings of animals and people. These were done by non agricultural peoples, who erected over 20 acres of temple complexes, and then covered them up again. We have no idea who they were, and what the exact usage for these structures were. As well as why they were covered up.
The gateway to the newly discovered ruins is the ancient city of Urfa (home of Abraham), and very close by are Harran (the site of a ruined massive mosque complex dating from the 8th century) & Mardin (the earliest known commercial center - 5,000 years old).
The Urfa bazaar was sweet and reminded me of small town bazaars in Anatolia in the early 1980's.
Not much to buy, but what was there was super neat, and very well priced.
In Urfa we also were given a tour of their not yet open Şanlıurfa Archeological Museum, which was built to show off the many finds from Göbekli Tepe. It is spectacular, and worth the visit. Opening January 2015. Turns out the museum director is a graduate of Seljuk University in Konya, and after a few names were dropped (like Doctor Suleiman) he personally escorted through the exhibits.
Click here for a slide show of images from the September trip
This museum is totally worth the visit to Urfa. And, while there, the Hotel El Ruha is also highly recommended. There are direct flights from Istanbul, so there are no excuses to miss experiencing these amazing artifacts from an earlier human civilization which we know nothing about.
On a more current note: we were 15 kilometers from the Syrian border, and saw no activity at all. However, 2 days after we departed, 200,000 refugees poured across the border. Once again our timing was celestial.
I am sorry to say that Anatolia is rapidly becoming an empty vessel. We came prepared to purchase 250 pieces, and could only find 70 worth our favor. Friends met in Konya also told of encountering the same problems while traveling through both Western and Eastern Anatolia.
Lucky us, we had some good luck in Konya, and so our trip was saved.
Our latest treasures are now in stock, and ready for your inspection. Hot off the camel's back.
AND, our annual Thanksgiving sale starts November 14th, and once again, we will offer our "Gold for the Price of Silver" sale. That's 50% Off our already low prices.
We have also opened up our trunks, and hundreds of pieces we have hidden for many, many years will now be available for purchase. And at a 50% discount. Wow! Again.
This will be our most inclusive sale ever: including all our stock - carpets, statuary, clothing, kilims, bags, fragments, runners, pictorial pieces, dated pieces, and our antiques.
Don't snooze on this one. Best First dibs to the First Comers.
Saul and the Sun Bow Crew