Home > 2011 Posts > Pastel Archaeology

Pastel Archaeology

November 28, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

In an another post, Republic and Empire, I wrote that it seems to me like some images convey the feel of a place and its past much better than others. Two High Dynamic Range photos of Rome’s Forum illustrated the point.

But, other ancient places evoke other feelings. And, other kinds of images may be more effective telling someone more than the look of a place. Perhaps even pastel paintings?

(Click here to see a larger image)

Priene was a Greek city on what is now the west coast of Turkey. It used to be at the mouth of the Maender River, but was constantly overrun. So, Alexander the Great moved it to a much more defensible site—on a high, rocky, bluff jutting out from nearby Mt. Mycale—when he took it back from the Persians. The small city, never more than 5,000 people, was home to one of the original Seven Sages of the ancient Greek world and is the best surviving example of Greek city planning, with a grid of streets and different areas designed to serve different purposes.

(Click here to see a larger image)

It was later sacked by Mithradates but prosperous again by the reign of Augustus. Then, the river finaly silted over the last bit of harbor. It struggled on through a long slow decline, until it was abandoned after the Ottoman Conquest in the thirteenth century.

It’s a lovely place and not much visited, so the feel of tumbled stones and ruins is easy to pick up. For me, these pastel renderings seem to match that feeling best.

Click on the link below and compare them to standard color photos in an earlier post about nearby Miletus, which of course has its own unique feel.

Do you have a preference? Or, are you like me and it depends on how a place feels when you’re there?


Click here to see a gallery of these and other pastel images of the ruins at Priene. Or, click here to read an earlier post about Filiz, a fascinating young Turkish woman we met roaming the ruins of Priene. 

  1. November 28, 2011 at 9:10 am

    Wonderful pictures

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