Our first week started out with a trip to Alanya to get our ikamets (our Turkish work permits). In Alanya we relaxed at the beach, ate pizza, and waited for quite some time sitting outside of the police station until at last we were asked to go in and stand in front of the police and then were free to go.
Tuesday was our first day at the site. We had to be downstairs and ready to leave the hotel at 5:30 A.M. Breakfast was served when we arrived, and we quickly found out that we would not be the only ones eating at the table. Our dinner guests were swarms of bees and wasps who we had to learn to fight off daily. After breakfast, we all went on a walking tour. Immediately afterwards, Ariel and I went to work assessing the temple blocks that had been placed in block fields, which kept us busy for the rest of the day. Tonight Cody, Ariel, Al, and I went out to eat with Dr. Erdogmus and her mother at The Green Oasis, a bar owned by an English couple (Konrad and Pauline) who live here in Gazipaşa. After returning to the hotel, Ariel and I played against the boys in a rousing game of ultimate ping pong.
The rest of the week followed a similar schedule. Ariel and I worked on assessing more of the blocks and were assigned to begin modeling one of them in AutoCAD. Al picked out two rectangular blocks and began working on his impact echo project. Cody supervised and helped out whenever he was needed. We also tried to use the GPR (Ground Penetrating Radar) to scan a marble block; however, we were not able to produce any discernible or distinct readings from the machine. We concluded that either the GPR settings might be incorrect or the marble might be too dense to scan.
The highlight of the week was going to ”The Pirate’s Cove”. After lunch on Thursday, the majority of our excavation crew went swimming in a cove separated from the sea by a land bridge. It is one of the most gorgeous places I have ever seen. The water was beautiful, so clear and refreshing. My first time swimming in the Mediterranean – amazing.
Our week ended with an international game of soccer played at a local field in Gazipaşa. We divided up and began the epic game. There were Americans and Turks on both teams which evened out the playing field. My team won, mostly because of our awesome goal-keeper, Cody, and our number one offensive player, Erkan.