Clarke, Joseph Thacher ; Bacon, Francis H. ; Koldewey, Robert
Investigations at Assos: expedition of the Archaeological Institute of America ; drawings and photographs of the buildings and objects discovered during the excavations of 1881, 1882, 1883 (Part I - V) — London, 1902-1921

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GREEK BRIDGE-ROMAN ATRIUM

129

I go over to the principal eastern gate in the city wall, to photograph the
peculiar brackets under the large lintel. What a large place Assos seems
after Priene! We next go up to the Acropolis, past the Turkish
Mosque, the porch of which is now in ruins ; the centre arch seeming
to have been thrown down by a recent earthquake. The Temple sty-
lobate remains intact, and the open trenches recall most vividly our
search for the sculptured blocks. Descending to the Turkish village be-
low, which seems more squalid than ever, I go into Aristes’ little shop,
which is just as it was twenty-one years ago — dirty and miserable. I
buy some Assos coins from the villagers who gather around.
Ahmet and I then go to the large semicircular Roman tower on the
northwestern wall, which has been undisturbed, and then back through
the western Street of Tombs, which has been so ruined. The large
ornamented sarcophagus has been quite demolished, its base having
been thrown down only a few months ago. The large western City
Gateway is unchanged, the blocks being evidently too large to be easily
transported. The Gymnasium was hardly to be recognized, so many
fragments had been carried off, and our trenches filled and smoothed
over by the winter rains. I take a farewell glance around: bees are
humming, tinkling goat-bells sound from the sides of the Acropolis,
and the smell of the warm earth and the lentisk-bushes is good to re-
member. Good-bye, Assos ! and we go down to the little Port, where,
under the plane-tree in front of Kyparisses’ old cafe the inhabitants
are gathered. The fountain plashes in the corner; Ibrahim Effendi,
the new customs officer, and others are sitting there. Coffees all round
again, and I have a narghileh. Finally the book of Assos, Part I, is pro-
duced, which 1 have had bound and have brought to the head man of the
village for the benefit of travellers. A Turkish scribe at the Dardanelles
has written the dedication in big Turkish letters, and all the inhabitants
crowd around to see the pictures. The plans do not interest them,
but the photographs please them greatly. Many of the workmen are
recognized. “ There’s Mehmet! ” “That’s Ali! ” etc. I suppose the
future visitor to Assos will have to look at the book whether he wishes
to or not; and judging by the way the ruins are disappearing the book
will be all that is left before long. Refreshments must again be taken
with Sukuru Bey, and I present him and his retainers with fountain
pens. I then try to find out what has become of the boxes of differ-
ent architectural fragments that we were forbidden to carry away in 1883,
and which were left on the shore at the Port. I am told that about ten
years ago an agent of the Constantinople Museum came here, broke
open our boxes, and selecting some of the blocks, mosaics, etc., sent them
off to Constantinople. He left the two temple capitals, some temple
cornice blocks, one fragment of the tile standard, and one or two other
pieces. These are now lying at the Port half covered with debris and
trodden by dogs and camels.”

THE GREEK BRIDGE

ONE branch of the road leading from the western
| Street of Tombs crossed the Satnioeis at the west
of the Turkish Bridge. (See map, Page 13.) Here
were found the remains of an ancient Greek Bridge, which
had evidently been in use, unchanged from very early date.
On the southern bank the abutment and the stone lintels of
two spans are still in position. The piers are diamond shaped
(see Page 133, Fig. 1), about 3.60 m. long, built of large
blocks, carefully jointed and the courses dowelled. At each
end of the pier a slight notch in each course kept them in
place when, during winter floods, it might be hit by ice or
floating logs (see detail of pier, Page 1 31). 'The bridge floor
consisted of large stone lintels bound together by swallow-
tailed dowels of wood. The bridge did not cross the river at
right angles, but followed the general direction of the road.
Th e axes of the piers were, however, parallel to the current.
At the north abutment, directly on the summer bed of the
river, no traces of the diamond shaped piers were found, so it
is possible that over this part of the stream the structure may
have been of wood. Traces of pavement near the south abut-
ment were found, probably as an approach to the summer bed,
from which the villagers of Behram still draw their water for
household use.

THE ROMAN
ATRIUM
THIS building was situated directly east of the Agora
(see plan, Page 13), and was evidently the court of
a large dwelling or palace. It faced nearly south,
being quite open on the side that looked over the sea, with a
two-storied colonnade on three sides, from which the rooms
opened. There was such an accumulation of debris on the site,
from two to four meters in depth, that only the court was in-
vestigated. This was paved with rectangular blocks of acropolis
stone, one curious feature being that the centre was raised about
20 cm. higher than the outside edges, so that the floor sloped
all four ways from the centre, where there was a large flat
shield-shaped stone with a water outlet. On this hill at Assos
water must have been always scarce in summer, and this in-
genious arrangement for cooling the court was evidently de-
signed to use up as little as possible of the precious fluid. It
trickled out from the centre opening and flowed over all four
sides at once and was carried off by the small gutter at the edge.
The workmanship of the building was late and the columns
were not dowelled to the stvlobate.




Fig. 1. Detail of Arches and Pier
From the Roman Atrium
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