Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: A dam, shame - Zeugma

Expand Messages
  • khakiberetman
    I ve seen a similar program on Arte, the Franco-German channel, earlier this spring, and like you I found the mosaics absolutely stunning. But you know, these
    Message 1 of 4 , Jul 1, 2005
    View Source
    • 0 Attachment
      I've seen a similar program on Arte, the Franco-German channel, earlier this
      spring, and like you I found the mosaics absolutely stunning. But you know,
      these mosaics were precisely being rescued; as for the hasty processs, I'm
      not sure, it was being described as painstaking and extremely cautious so
      that the works could be conserved. It also seemed to me that the region had
      been carefully swept and that the essntially precious finds were all removed
      for conservation over the several years that the dam was in construction. The
      impression I've had is that the archeologists were pleased with the work
      they'd done, and at no point did I hear any of them object to the flooding of the
      site. They recognised that this region of eastern Anatolia is very destitute and
      that the dam would help improve the living standards for a considerable
      segment of the local population. As far as they were concerned, they'd
      received adequate support to investigate the site and to collect what could be
      saved.

      Now, inevitably, some things will have been lost, but we have to give the
      archeologists credit for being selective in their choice of investigations. Other
      treasures will have long been damaged by seismic activity, erosion or human
      disaster such as fires and invasions, and in these cases it is vain to regret.
      The fact is, since the site of Zeugma was destined to be flooded, it actually
      attracted a good amount of publicity, probably as worthy as this mini-series
      that's being discused or the McCullough novels (which don't appeal to me at
      all, so you see I'm in the other camp, not, by the way because of her attitude to
      Caesar but simply because I don't think she writes very well). remember for
      instance when the Aswan dam resulted in flooding Abu Simbel, well the site
      has been reconstructed pretty much to the identical and it remains one of the
      marvels for visitors to Egypt (I haven't been there, by the way).

      For the rest perhaps you are right, some "activism" (sorry, I don't really like the
      word) could help at least mobilising more scientific means by supporting
      archeological programs; at the same time I suspect it is vain to militate against
      the damming projects themselves which obey completely different
      considerations but are in now way completely invalid, in view of local
      circumstances. I've only visited Istanbul and western Anatolia several years
      ago, but already then I marveled at the efforts that Turkey has made to
      conserve such a rich and varied heritage; certainly international cooperation
      is a boost to this effort.

      --- In imperialrome2@..., "lucius_graecus" <nexus909@h...>
      wrote:
      > I just got through watching a Nova special from a few years back on
      > American public television (which runs again in NYC locally tommorow)
      > on the ancient Roman city of Zeugma in modern day Turkey who's
      > excavation was on a very limted schedule before a dam project erased
      > it forever under a river. Stunning mosaics were hastily cut out while
      > there was still time though we'll never know what lies undiscovered-
      > it was heart-wrenching to watch.
      >
      > There is a link to this program with much information and graphics at
      > http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/zeugma/ as well as further links to
      > other sites lost to similar damming projects as well as some-
      > including Turkey in 2007- that will be lost. Certainly a shame for
      > the appreciator of ancient antiquities, perhaps some activism will
      > rescue more of these precious finds.
      >
      > Lucius Graecus
    • lucius_graecus
      ... earlier this ... you know, ... processs, I m ... cautious so ... region had ... all removed ... construction. That s true- I meant it not so much that they
      Message 2 of 4 , Jul 1, 2005
      View Source
      • 0 Attachment
        --- In imperialrome2@..., khakiberetman <no_reply@y...>
        wrote:
        > I've seen a similar program on Arte, the Franco-German channel,
        earlier this
        > spring, and like you I found the mosaics absolutely stunning. But
        you know,
        > these mosaics were precisely being rescued; as for the hasty
        processs, I'm
        > not sure, it was being described as painstaking and extremely
        cautious so
        > that the works could be conserved. It also seemed to me that the
        region had
        > been carefully swept and that the essntially precious finds were
        all removed
        > for conservation over the several years that the dam was in
        construction.

        That's true- I meant it not so much that they did sloppy work though
        they were under pressure of a schedule. In a way, it seemed a very
        focused effort to remove this one beautiful element and having to
        ignore less attractive ones.

        > The
        > impression I've had is that the archeologists were pleased with the
        work
        > they'd done, and at no point did I hear any of them object to the
        flooding of the
        > site. They recognised that this region of eastern Anatolia is very
        destitute and
        > that the dam would help improve the living standards for a
        considerable
        > segment of the local population. As far as they were concerned,
        they'd
        > received adequate support to investigate the site and to collect
        what could be
        > saved.

        That wasn't the program I watched. The leader- or at least one who
        appeared to be the leader, I don't recall who he was though the
        program focused on him, felt bitterness about it- to use his words.
        The show ended with brooding shots of him overlooking the region. The
        program was certainly biased against the flooding as is the
        supporting website. To be fair, not much was covered about the
        damming program though from the program, it was assumed to not be a
        positive thing. Oddly enough on the station I watched it on, they
        followed it with a program on the Appalachian region of the U.S.- an
        area devastated by opportunistic dams and strip-mining operations.
        Such is public television I suppose.

        > Now, inevitably, some things will have been lost, but we have to
        give the
        > archeologists credit for being selective in their choice of
        investigations. Other
        > treasures will have long been damaged by seismic activity, erosion
        or human
        > disaster such as fires and invasions, and in these cases it is vain
        to regret.

        Not all "development" projects are similar though I admit I
        don't know much detail about the ones going on in Turkey. However man-
        made "development" and natural causes are radically different.

        > The fact is, since the site of Zeugma was destined to be flooded,
        it actually
        > attracted a good amount of publicity, probably as worthy as this
        mini-series
        > that's being discused or the McCullough novels (which don't appeal
        to me at
        > all, so you see I'm in the other camp, not, by the way because of
        her attitude to
        > Caesar but simply because I don't think she writes very well).

        I'm a non-fiction sort of person myself, unless we are talking about
        something of particularly good quality and I think we agree on the
        works you mention- I have not read McCullough but am familiar with
        Disney-ABC and undercurrent of controversy with their program (don't
        ask, I won't tell.)

        > remember for
        > instance when the Aswan dam resulted in flooding Abu Simbel, well
        the site
        > has been reconstructed pretty much to the identical and it remains
        one of the
        > marvels for visitors to Egypt (I haven't been there, by the way).

        I remember this. I really doubt something like this would happen
        today- not under Zawas anyway. I admit naivete here though I wasn't
        too happy about Abu Simbel being a fan of archaeoastronomy.

        > For the rest perhaps you are right, some "activism" (sorry, I don't
        really like the
        > word) could help at least mobilising more scientific means by
        supporting
        > archeological programs; at the same time I suspect it is vain to
        militate against
        > the damming projects themselves which obey completely different
        > considerations but are in now way completely invalid, in view of
        local
        > circumstances. I've only visited Istanbul and western Anatolia
        several years
        > ago, but already then I marveled at the efforts that Turkey has
        made to
        > conserve such a rich and varied heritage; certainly international
        cooperation
        > is a boost to this effort.

        Not a great word in relation to objects and artifacts- true. And it's
        only warranted in some cases I'm sure. In the case of Zeugma, I
        couldn't help but wonder if those mosaics if parlayed correctly could
        have raised enough funds to make a difference. Then again, the focus
        of the program was on the antiquities and not the dam project- though
        again the bias was clear. I don't fault the archaelogy at all- only I
        question the bureaucracy of the Turkish government. And to their
        conservation efforts, I am too greek to say anything but spit on the
        ground in response. That's another topic, nothing against you or your
        opinion.

        All in all, the loss of ancient art and artifacts to government
        projects needs to be examined very deeply and carefully. Once the
        waters rise, it's game over.

        Lucius Graecus
      • khakiberetman
        It s worth pointing out that EVERY archeological project is under pressure and a tight schedule... for budgetary reasons. I m also not sure that it is only in
        Message 3 of 4 , Jul 2, 2005
        View Source
        • 0 Attachment
          It's worth pointing out that EVERY archeological project is under pressure and
          a tight schedule... for budgetary reasons. I'm also not sure that it is only in
          situations like this that archeologists reason selectively and are "forced" to
          abandon other potential finds. I would suggest that any process of digging not
          only uncovers, it inevitably destroys part of the quarry; artifacts get damaged
          or lost, it's a fact of of the activity. That doesn't prevent us from having a
          plethora of finds that we can continue to enjoy in the future.

          as for the role of government bureaucracy, even though i'm no friend of such
          administrations, it is also worth pointing out that it is often the same
          government apparatus that makes digs possible. The great new Olympic
          stadium at Athens was late in completion because finds were made on the
          site; no objection to that, it was to be expected. Still, I don't know that the
          Greeks suddenly said, to hell with the stadium, we've got to conserve what's
          underneath it. It was built anyway, and as far as I've seen, Athens isn't the
          worth for it.

          I think the case of Zeugma does appeal to certain sensibilities. The idea of a
          site being flooded can be some cause for brooding and so on, appeal to our
          romantic sense of "what might have been" and why must man-made
          development come at the expense of heritage, etc... But then, wasn't Zeugma
          built on the surface of earlier settlements who were destroyed in the process?
          Each epoch tends to build on the ruins of its predecessors.

          --- In imperialrome2@..., "lucius_graecus"
          <nexus909@h...> wrote:

          >
          > That's true- I meant it not so much that they did sloppy work though
          > they were under pressure of a schedule. In a way, it seemed a very
          > focused effort to remove this one beautiful element and having to
          > ignore less attractive ones.
          >
          > That wasn't the program I watched. The leader- or at least one who
          > appeared to be the leader, I don't recall who he was though the
          > program focused on him, felt bitterness about it- to use his words.
          > The show ended with brooding shots of him overlooking the region. The
          > program was certainly biased against the flooding as is the
          > supporting website. To be fair, not much was covered about the
          > damming program though from the program, it was assumed to not be a
          > positive thing. Oddly enough on the station I watched it on, they
          > followed it with a program on the Appalachian region of the U.S.- an
          > area devastated by opportunistic dams and strip-mining operations.
          > Such is public television I suppose.
          >
          > Not all "development" projects are similar though I admit I
          > don't know much detail about the ones going on in Turkey. However man-
          > made "development" and natural causes are radically different.
          >
          > I'm a non-fiction sort of person myself, unless we are talking about
          > something of particularly good quality and I think we agree on the
          > works you mention- I have not read McCullough but am familiar with
          > Disney-ABC and undercurrent of controversy with their program (don't
          > ask, I won't tell.)
          >
          > I remember this. I really doubt something like this would happen
          > today- not under Zawas anyway. I admit naivete here though I wasn't
          > too happy about Abu Simbel being a fan of archaeoastronomy.
          >
          > Not a great word in relation to objects and artifacts- true. And it's
          > only warranted in some cases I'm sure. In the case of Zeugma, I
          > couldn't help but wonder if those mosaics if parlayed correctly could
          > have raised enough funds to make a difference. Then again, the focus
          > of the program was on the antiquities and not the dam project- though
          > again the bias was clear. I don't fault the archaelogy at all- only I
          > question the bureaucracy of the Turkish government. And to their
          > conservation efforts, I am too greek to say anything but spit on the
          > ground in response. That's another topic, nothing against you or your
          > opinion.
          >
          > All in all, the loss of ancient art and artifacts to government
          > projects needs to be examined very deeply and carefully. Once the
          > waters rise, it's game over.
          >
          > Lucius Graecus
        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.