The mysterious Lycian city of the World, which at one time been the Hellenization, and then became one of the centers of Eastern Christianity, in the XIII century. Was covered with a thick layer of sediment of the local river. Excavated Byzantine chapel was in excellent condition. Perhaps the rest of the city is preserved as well.
In the IV century Bishop Nicholas turned the city into the World on the Mediterranean coast to the capital of the Christian world. Later canonized figure, and it turned into our Saint Nicholas in their Santa Claus, but the World waited less fortune.
About 800 years, this place served as the center of attraction of pilgrims, and then it disappeared under the local river sediments Miros thickness of 5.5 meters. Preserved only St. Nicholas Church, part of the Roman amphitheater and tombs carved into the rocky hills.
But now the World returns. In 2009, archaeologists found the location of the city with GPR, who pointed to the modern Demre in the Turkish province of Antalya. The ensuing two years of excavations have revealed a beautiful little chapel in the XIII century, the amazing preservation. On one wall of the building cut a window in the shape of a cross, through which the sun, taking the appropriate form, falling directly on the altar. Surprised the experts and unusual for the area bright mural.
The integrity of the structure indicates that the underground archaeologists can expect new Pompeii.
Peace came at least in the IV century BC. e. and was one of the most powerful cities of Lycia, with a unique culture, with its roots in the Bronze Age. Then it was captured by Persians, Greeks, Hellenized and eventually get their hands on the Romans.
The relics of St. Nicholas, kept as it was thought in the construction of the V century and rebuilt many times since the church attracted pilgrims around the Mediterranean. Souvenir shops for Orthodox work around the ancient worlds to this day.
But the city is, of course, interested not only believers. In the VII and IX centuries, he is attacked by the Arabs in the XI – finally captured the Seljuks. It is believed that the relics were stolen by some merchant, allegedly acting on behalf of the pope, and moved to the city of Bari in southern Italy.
The XIII century World is practically empty. Still, someone built a small chapel. Building material the stones of the other buildings and tombs. Just a few decades later, torrential rains led to the fact that within a few years of the World was covered with a thick layer of mud. If it happened gradually, the upper part of the chapel would have suffered more lower, but archaeologists have found that almost all of the building (with the exception of the tip of the dome) remained approximately the same state.
Engin Akyurek from Istanbul University (Turkey) and his colleagues have unearthed artifacts as the early fourteenth century, when control over Anatolia Turks were founded later by the Ottoman Empire. After that, judging from the fragments of pottery, the first settlements in the area Worlds began to appear only in the XVIII century.
The probability of detection of new Pompeii very concerned experts because the transformation of ancient cities in the Byzantine not well understood, especially in the era of the mid VII before the XIV century. The situation is complicated by the fact that every major settlement had its own history.
Food for thought has been given, and the first dish was a fresco of the chapel dug two meters. This Deesis – canonical story of the Eastern Christian iconography. Typically, in such cases, the Christ Pantocrator is depicted on a throne with a book in hand, accompanied by Mary and John the Baptist, whose hands were lifted up in prayer. Unlike frescoes from the canon is that John and Mary hold scrolls with the Greek text.
“Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” – this quote from the Gospel of John (1:29), researchers have read in a book of John the Baptist. Mary shows a fragment of the prayer to the Virgin Mary, in which she intercedes on behalf of mankind to Jesus with the request to forgive our sins. This version of the canon occurred in Egypt and Cyprus, but Turkey – more than ever.
Excavations are continuing. Particular attention is now receiving a Roman amphitheater, restored in the second century after the massive earthquake that leveled most of Lycia, and Andriake – port of Myra, located 5 km to the south. It is in this place, which for centuries has been one of the most important ports of the Mediterranean, St. Paul was transplanted to the ship, which went down to Antioch (now Antakya). There have already found a workshop for making royal purple and blue colors of the murex (a kind of snails) and the V century synagogue – the first evidence of Judaism in Christian Lycia.