Today we went north from Izmir (Smyrna) to Pergamum (Revelation 2:12-17) where we visited the citadel, the Ascleipion, and the local museum. From there we continued in a southeastly direction to Thyatira before returning to Izmir.
This first photo was made on the acropolis of Pergamum sitting atop a high hill overlooking the territory around it. Sharon, from a previous tour, tries to get a good view of the landscape below.
At Pergamum we saw the partially reconstructed Temple of the Emperor Trajan (A.D. 98-117), the area where the famous library of the ancient world stood, the foundation of the temple of Athena, the theater, and the site of the Zeus Altar. The altar has now been reconstructed in the Pergamum Museum in Berlin.
When Pergamum could no longer get papyrus sheets from Egypt they developed the writing material called parchment. There are a few shops in the city today (modern Bergama) selling parchment made from goat skin.
One interesting difference between our visit to Pergamum today and the last time we visited the site is the addition of a cable car. Buses are no longer allowed to drive to the top of the Acropolis. Visitors take the cable cars to the entrance of the archaeological site.
There is still little to see at Thyatira. A few scattered ruins can be seen in one square block in the center of the little town of Akhisar. In New Testament times this was the home of Lydia, the seller of purple (Acts 16:14). One of the letters in the Book of Revelation was addressed to the church in the city (Revelation 2:18-29).
I was pleased to see Mark Wilson’s Biblical Turkey: A Guide to Jewish and Christian Sites of Asia Minor, available in a bookshop at Pergamum. Several members of our group who had failed to buy a copy in advance did so today.