Monday, March 9, 2009


This is the beautiful ancient city of Priene; the first of our sites today, and the weather was amazing. The first picture is of the temple to Athena. It was a pretty big thing to see... even if it had only one row of columns up.

The next two pictures are of a Jewish house church. In the first you can see a menorah carved into the stone. In the second picture you see a big hole in the ground. It's called an apse, and it looks like a half-circle. That was where the Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament, was kept safe. Both the Menorah and the Torah are used by Jews today. In fact, they are very sacred (or special) objects.

The 4th picture looks over the countryside of Priene. Well, it's countryside now. Back when this city was populated over 2000 years ago, all that farm land was the Agean Sea. Yes, it came right up to the city! There was a river that flowed into the sea, but it had alot of silt in it. Silt is a very soft dirt that rivers carry. The Mississippi River carries silt into the Gulf of Mexico. What happens if the silt doesn't move? It starts to make more land. Much of New Orleans is built on land that was made from years and years of silt. Well, in Priene, the silt created land that blocked the river from flowing into the sea. Over many, many years, the sea moved back because it wasn't getting new water to keep it as big.

Here's the nice thing about all this - that ground is really good for growing things now!

The last picture is a map of how Priene used to look back when it was used as a city by the Romans.

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