Thursday, August 30, 2007

Present v. Past in Istanbul

Two magazines, two different takes on the excavation of an ancient Byzantine harbor in Istanbul--which was once Constantinople.

I've been following the news in Archaeology Magazine--here's one article: "Under Istanbul."

I have to admit, though, that Wired presents a much more comprehensive view of the situation.

Read the online piece, "Quake Fears, Ancient Finds have Europe-Asia Tunnel in Non-stop Delay."

Synopsis: Turkey, which wants to get into the EU, is trying to build a much-needed subway system in an earthquake-prone city of ten million people . At the same time, they're boring, dredging, and constructing the deepest underground tunnel ever attempted, to relieve traffic on bridges across the Bosporus, and connect Asia and Europe with a whole new shipping network.

It's gonna cost $3 billion and take years, and they just happen to dig into an ancient Byzantine harbor, lost for centuries, stretching across acres of city, and filled with priceless artefacts that make it possibly the most valuable find since the Valley of the Kings.

Complicated problem. I can't even arrange my office efficiently, so who knows what they'll do?

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