The region has remains back to 9000 BC and has the biggest Hellenistic and Roman cities in the world for example Ephesus (12 km from the venue), Miletus (55 kms) and Aphrodisias (170 kms). The burial and church of St. John and House of the Virgin Mary is located nearby Kusadasi (12 kms). Miletus is an important city in view science history, because Thales, Anaximander, and Anaximenes lived there and presented a view of nature in terms of methodologically observable entities. Aphrodisias was famous for its school of sculpture. The ancient city Hierapolis (Pamukkale) is famous for travertine terrace formations. All mentioned locations are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. There will be two choices for excursions. The way of excursions crosses the Meander river (now it is a geomorphological term) and follows Menderes graben that is famous example for a metamorphic core complex and detachment faults. There are many geothermal power plants on the way. The sources are explored by geophysical methods (DC resistivity in the past and MT recently).
The Library of Celsus
Ephesus is one of the important stops of the excursion which is very close to the workshop venue. The city is listed in the UNESCO world heritage list since 2015. Ephesus comprises successive Hellenistic and Roman settlements founded on new locations, which followed the coastline as it retreated westward. Excavations have revealed grand monuments of the Roman Imperial period including the Library of Celsus and the Great Theatre. Little remains of the famous Temple of Artemis, one of the “Seven Wonders of the World,” which drew pilgrims from all around the Mediterranean. Since the 5th century, the House of the Virgin Mary, a domed cruciform chapel seven kilometres from Ephesus, became a major place of Christian pilgrimage. The Ancient City of Ephesus is an outstanding example of a Roman port city, with sea channel and harbour basin (Ministry of Culture and Tourism).
The well known building in the photo is the Library of Celsus which became the symbol of the city. It was built in memory of Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus, an Ancient Greek who served as governor of Roman Asia (105–107) in the Roman Empire. Celsus paid for the construction of the library with his own personal wealth,and is buried in a sarcophagus beneath it. It is reported that the library held nearly 12.000 scrolls.
Arete (personification of virtue)
The statues in the niches of the columns of Celsus Library are the copies of the originals. The statues symbolize wisdom (Sophia), knowledge (Episteme), intelligence (Ennoia) and virtue (Arete). The photo shows Arete (APETH) which symbolizes the "virtue".
In ancient Greece, virtue meant something of competence. It was called virtuous man who had an Arete, that is, a competent person, who did the work that was suitable for him, who performed his unique function. For example; the blade's Arete is a good cut because the blade is made for this purpose. In the case of human, virtue is defined as follows: “Human activity is not movement, growth, reproduction, because other animal species do so. It is Socrates who uses the word virtue for the activities of human beings which means to fulfill the unique function of each human being in the best way. In this context, according to Socrates, virtue is the realization of actions that is appropriate and original to one's own (Özgüney, T.).
House of Virgin Mary
The House of the Virgin Mary (Turkish: Meryemana Evi or Meryem Ana Evi, "Mother Mary's House") is a Catholic shrine located on Mt. Koressos (Turkish: Bülbüldağı, "Mount Nightingale") in the vicinity of Ephesus. The house was discovered in the 19th century by following the descriptions in the reported visions of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774–1824), a Roman Catholic nun and visionary, which were published as a book by Clemens Brentano after her death. While the Catholic Church has never pronounced in favour or against the authenticity of the house, it nevertheless has maintained a steady flow of pilgrimage since its discovery. Anne Catherine Emmerich was Beatified by Pope John Paul II on October 3, 2004. Catholic pilgrims visit the house based on the belief that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was taken to this stone house by Saint John and lived there for the remainder of her earthly life. The shrine has merited several papal Apostolic Blessings and visits from several Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI (source: wikipedia).
Outside the shrine is a particular "wishing wall" which pilgrims have used by tying their personal intentions on paper or fabric. Various types of florals and fruits are grown nearby, and additional lighting has been installed within the vicinity of the shrine for further monitoring of the site. A water fountain or well is also located nearby, believed by some pilgrims to have miraculous powers of healing or fertility.
Pamukkale (Cotton Castle)
Pamukkale, meaning "cotton castle" in Turkish, is a natural site in Denizli in southwestern Turkey. The area is famous for a carbonate mineral left by the flowing water. It is located in Turkey's Inner Aegean region, in the River Menderes valley, which has a temperate climate for most of the year. The ancient Greco-Roman city of Hierapolis was built on top of the white "castle" which is in total about 2,700 metres (8,860 ft) long, 600 m (1,970 ft) wide and 160 m (525 ft) high. It can be seen from the hills on the opposite side of the valley in the town of Denizli, 20 km away. Known as Pamukkale (Cotton Castle) or ancient Hierapolis (Holy City), this area has been drawing the weary to its thermal springs since the time of Classical antiquity. The Turkish name refers to the surface of the shimmering, snow-white limestone, shaped over millennia by calcium-rich springs. Dripping slowly down the vast mountainside, mineral-rich waters foam and collect in terraces, spilling over cascades of stalactites into milky pools below. Legend has it that the formations are solidified cotton (the area's principal crop) that giants left out to dry. Tourism is and has been a major industry in the area for thousands of years, due to the attraction of the thermal pools. As recently as the mid-20th century, hotels were built over the ruins of Hierapolis, causing considerable damage. An approach road was built from the valley over the terraces, and motor bikes were allowed to go up and down the slopes. When the area was declared a World Heritage Site, the hotels were demolished and the road removed and replaced with artificial pools. Overshadowed by natural wonder, Pamukkale's well-preserved Roman ruins and museum have been remarkably underestimated and unadvertised; tourist brochures over the past 20 years have mainly featured photos of people bathing in the calcium pools. Aside from a small footpath running up the mountain face, the terraces are all currently off-limits, having suffered erosion and water pollution at the feet of tourists (source: wikipedia).
Aphrodisias was a small ancient Greek Hellenistic city in the historic Caria cultural region of western Anatolia, Turkey. Aphrodisias was named after Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, who had here her unique cult image, the Aphrodite of Aphrodisias. In 2017 it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. The site is in an earthquake zone and has suffered a great deal of damage at various times, especially in severe tremors of the 4th and 7th centuries. An added complication was that one of the 4th century earthquakes altered the water table, making parts of the town prone to flooding. Evidence can be seen of emergency plumbing installed to combat this problem. Aphrodisias never fully recovered from the 7th century earthquake, and fell into disrepair. Part of the town was covered by the modern village of Geyre; some of the cottages were removed in the 20th century to reveal the older city. A new Geyre has been built a short distance away (source: wikipedia).
The photo shows the monumental gateway of Aphrodisias.