Saturday, April 11, 2015

Istanbul Archeological Museum

It seems so strange that Istanbul should HAVE an archeological museum because Istanbul IS an archeological museum. Outside the walls of the Topkapi palace the ground is littered with Roman columns that had been buried in the rubble base for the walls. Hagai Sofia has been open and operating as a giant cathedral then mosque then museum every day since it was completed in 532 by the Roman emperor Justinian. So Flat Stanley, Donna and I were dubious about a museum IN a museum but we had to see.  First stop: Early Orient Museum. When they say "early" in Istanbul, you can bet it's old - and we weren't disappointed. Orient did not mean China as it often does in English. It meant "east of here".  For over 200 years - since so described by Napoleon - Istanbul considers itself (and I would not dispute) "The Capitol of the World".

Here, Flat Stanley is hanging out with a 3,000 year old gate guard.

Jesus, of course, spoke Aramaic.  Here is a sundial that was 100 years old when He was born.

A thousand or so years before FS' buddy was carved, Egyptians were mummifying their dead. Here are a couple of photos of real mummys.

Speaking of Jesus, shortly after His crucifiction the Jews rebelled against Rome and the temple built a thousand years earlier was torn down by the Romans.  One of the blocks was later dug up and brought here: "No intruder is allows in the courtyard and within the walls surrounding the temple.  Whoever enters will cause death to himself." reads the inscription in LATIN - the Hebrews knew the rules.

Now the Egyptians thought to assure immortality through mummification; the Romans sought eternal fame through ostentatious tombs - Donna stands by one of scores here.

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