Sunday started off with a trip to Lamos, an archeological site close to Gazipaşa. Our car ride there was eventful – to say the least. Al had to drive Dr. Townsend’s rental car (a stick shift) because there weren’t enough seats in Dr. Hoff’s and Birol’s vehicles for everyone. The road to the site was paved most of the way. However, when we reached the turn off to the site we had to take a narrow, pothole-filled road the last two miles up the side of a mountain to get to Lamos. We were almost to the top, when we came to a section of the road that was almost impassable. Our little car tried its best to make it up, but it was tired and decided that it would rather slide backward down the road, instead of exerting itself any further. After letting it rest for a few minutes, Al tried one more time to coax the car up the path. As he gunned the engine of the car, the wheels spun, gravel flew, and it shuddered up the side of the mountain finally arriving at our destination. Once we unloaded, we hiked around the ruins for a few hours. One of the more exciting places that we explored was an underground cistern that was home to one of the biggest spiders that I have ever seen in my entire life. (It was the size of my hand.) After we got back to town Al, Cody, Ariel, Emily and I went out to eat at our favorite restaurant, Bizim. We got huge plates of doner, rice, and salad along with drinks and tea for under 5 American dollars a piece, and it was delicious!
The work week was focused around taking samples of the marble. On Monday, Dr. Erdogmus drove to pick up a mineral specialist, Joshua Freedman, who works for a structural forensics company (Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.) and will be helping us study the marble. Joshua was very interested in a white residue that had formed on some of the marble and scraped off samples to bring back to the States for material testing and identification. We also looked at some of the algae on the blocks and used a technique of dry and wet brushing to try to clean the marble.
On Wednesday we had another soccer game. There were fewer students who played, and I did a much better job of participating. After the friendly match we ate baklava at a pastry shop nearby. On the walk home I talked to Erkan, one of the Turkish students, and he taught me some easy Turkish words like “çanta” and ”cep”.
Ariel and I spent Thursday working on an AutoCAD model of a temple block. After spending two hours on basic designs, we were a bit frustrated with our efforts, but it was so exciting when we finally figured out how to model the block in 3-D correctly. In the afternoon Cody, Al, Ariel, and I went down to the beach and swam. I love the Mediterranean and to celebrate life, I bought a floatie.
Friday was the hottest day yet. We took trench tours, and then went swimming at the Pirate’s Cove. Sadly, I left my floatie at home so I could not use it. That night we ate at Bizim again. We had the same waiter, who knew us and, as usual, was very friendly. Unfortunately, that would be our last meal at Bizim as Ramadan soon started and the restaurant closed down for the entire month of August, a very sad occurrence.