In addition to some of the highlights of the modern city, we visited the Temple of Augustus and the priceless collection of Hittite artifacts in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations. This museum is often referred to as the Hittite Museum. The Temple of Augustus, shown above, was built about 20 B.C. when Ankara was known as Ancyra and was in the province of Galatia. The deeds of Augustus are recorded on the outside wall in Greek, and on the inside wall in Latin. Augustus is referred to as DIVI in Latin and THEOS in Greek. Worship of the emperors was widespread in Asia Minor. This information helps us with our understanding of the setting of the book of Revelation.
The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations is a small, but very impressive museum. This is because of the great collection of Hittie artifacts. There is one large room devoted to Neo-Hittite reliefs from Carchemish on the Euphrates River. Carchemish was the site of the defeat of the Assyrian Empire in 605 B.C. The photo below shows a three-head sphinx. It is a winged lion with the head of a bird of prey on the tail. On top of the head is a human head wearing a conical hat. Composite images such as this were common during Old Testament times. An understanding of this helps us with our study of the apocalyptic books of the Bible, Ezekiel, Daniel, Zechariah, and Revelation.
In the afternoon we headed south to the region of Cappadocia, or as they call it s here, Kappadokia. More tomorrow, hopefully.
We made a full day excursion from Ankara to the Hittite sites of Hattusas (now Bogazkale) and the open air sanctuary of Yazilikaya where the Hittite gods are depicted in relief on the rock. During Old Testament days Turkey was the home of the ancient Hittites, once thought by critics of the Bible to be an example of the inaccuracy of the Bible. In 1906 archaeologists began to uncover the Hittite civilization at Boghazkoy (now Bogazkale). The Hittites had numerous contacts with the people of the Bible from the time of Abraham onward (Gen. 15:20; Josh. 1:4; 2 Sam. 11:3; 1 Kings 10:29; See National Geographic, July, 1977). Our trip, including the sightseeing, took about 11 hours. The weather was warm, in the mid-80s, and the sky was beautiful. This made for a good photographic day. The photo above is of the Lion’s Gate.
The photo below shows some of the temple area and a portion of reconstructed wall. This also provides a view of the typical Anatolian landscape around Hattusas.
Tomorrow we will visit the famous Hittite Museum in Ankara, and continue to Cappadocia.
We had a good flight on Lufthansa to Munich, and made the connection to Ankara. Several pieces of luggage missing. These are from folks who made connections from their hometown to New York Tuesday. Hopefully the bags will be here later tonight or tomorrow.
It is warm here in Anatolia today–probably in the upper 80s. We had difficulty in getting a hotel in Ankara because of some government conference. We had to settle for the airport hotel. It is not as nice as we might have had in the city, but it is satisfactory. We are a considerable distance from the area where the bombing took place on Tuesday.
Tomorrow we travel about 3 hours east of Ankara to visit the land of the Hittites. When we return I hope to post a photo from that area.
We flew JetBlue from Tampa to JFK. Flight left on time and arrived a little early. The airline has more leg room than most (or all) other airlines. The blue potato chips are good, too. We are accustomed to jumping in the car and getting to most anywhere we need to be in a few minutes. It is amazing how much time New Yorkers spend waiting on transportation.
Take a look at this nice NASA photo as you study Paul’s travel on the First Journey (Acts 13-14).
Today I received the April, 2007, edition of Lonely Planet’s Turkey from Amazon. What a thrill to get a book that is so recently updated. The book totals 724 pages. Lonely Planet guides are most useful to independent travelers, but I find lots of good information even for someone on a tour. Today I checked several places that I have been studying about recently. I picked up a few interesting tidbits, but also observed that several important historical things are omitted. One guide is not enough. Many group travelers would be content with Turkey in the Eyewitness Travel Guides.
Visit our Biblical Studies Info Book Store and order either or both of these books.
I decided to emphasize the travel on ancient roads as the theme to be used here. The photos were made at Laodicea.