Aphrodisias was discovered by Kenan Erim in 1959, when it was a small Turkish village, called Geyre, with bits of Roman marble scattered around.

Fortunately for us, Erim was accompanied by his friend Ara Güler, Turkey’s most famous photographer and now, in his eighties, still working.

Güler’s photographs of Geyre when he and Erim first visited form a fascinating exhibition in one of the old village buildings, now refurbished, opposite the Museum.

The picture above show the village coffee house with Roman capitals supporting the entrance.

And the villagers apparently made good use of old sarcophagi for pressing grapes.

And what an up-market onion field with a boundary of truncated Roman columns.

Now the village has been moved a couple of miles away, but some of the original buildings are preserved, and used, within the Aphrodisias site.

If you’d like to see villages where people still live in the midst of classical remains, similar to Geyre in 1959, go to Sidyma (down the Xanthos valley) or Selge – north east of Antalya.

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