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"You've Got to Sleep With Your Mum and Dad" is now available on Amazon. Childhood angst, marathon swimming, international exploitation and the threat of impending pinniped intimacy. on 2014-08-13
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Have a look at my page on Amazon. Still plenty of summer left for challenging literature. on 2014-08-13
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Check out my Amazon Kindle page. 'The Baby Who Killed People for Money' is now available. An utterly charming child with a unique and lucrative skill. A father with no defence against his daughter's impulses. Would you take your little girl around Europe for a spot of murder tourism? Of course you would. on 2014-06-30
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My story on the Tate gallery website on 2013-11-11
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A Thousand Natural Shocks An anthology that includes two of my stories. Available now at Amazon. on 2013-11-11
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Category: Uncategorized

Posted June 23, 2019
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Treasure-hunter activity visible at the bottom of the photo

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Posted May 28, 2019
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Inside chapel looking west

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Posted April 27, 2019
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Posted February 6, 2019
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View of the chapel from the southern entrance

There must have been a holy precinct extending west from the city of Midye (now Kıyıköy) in the 6th century. 500 metres east of the Çalışkan Farm cave church and a kilometer west of the Aya Nikola Monastery lies a field of roughly carved rock graves – a necropolis. In the centre of these is what may have been the funerary chapel(41.629434875276, 28.068034333229) . 

This view of the niche in the northern wall shows the marks of treasure hunters’ tools

It is a small structure, accessed by an opening to the south and about three  metres along its main east-west axis. It is about 1.5 metres high, not enough height to allow standing room. It is probable that this was an intricate grave rather than a chapel, but the carved fixtures do not seem to allow sufficient space for a body or bodies to have been placed within.

Evidence that metal fittings were once held in place above the entrance

For a while, this structure was augmented by a concrete slab roof, enabling it to be used for farm storage. The concrete is now gone. There is evidence that treasure-hunters have tried their luck here but realized fairly quickly that once they started digging into bedrock, their chances of finding treasure were zero.

One of the areas of graves to the west of the chapel

The rock face, only about 30m from the main Kıyıköy – Vize road, is honeycombed with graves. These are all eroded as one would expect from a thousand years of limestone weathering.

A pyramid orchid from the necropolis area

The coastal heathland around the necropolis is home to some interesting seasonal flowers. In early summer, the pyramid orchids are in flower.

 

Civelek, E. (2016) Kıyıköy Şarapçı Yolu Kaya Oyma Mezarı. Kırklareli Kültür Varlıkları Envanteri. available online at: http://www.kirklarelienvanteri.gov.tr/anitlar.php?id=88 Accessed 5th February, 2019

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Posted January 31, 2019
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The eastern church at Kıyıköy harbor 

The harbour at Kıyıköy is separated from the main town by a precipitous cliff studded with Byzantine fortifications. Presumably, the upper town was well supplied with churches, but these have now disappeared. At the base of the cliff (41.632909228702, 28.096977436704) are the remains of two small rock-cut churches that were, presumably, for the use of seafarers using the harbour. These are now protected from the attentions of the casual trespasser by ridiculously thick and spiky vegetation. 

Apse at the eastern end of the church

The easternmost church measures about 4 metres by 7 metres. It is open to the south and has the usual apse carved into the eastern end. The stonemasonry is competent, but unadorned apart from a raised belt currently lying about 20cm from floor level. This would have been significantly above the original floor level. There are some interesting graffiti in the church, now of historical significance in themselves. One piece in the apse is dated 1898. 

Western end of the east church

The western end of the church has a flat wall and is covered with Greek graffiti. 

Graffiti in the western wall. Note the cross and the inscribed ‘STEFANOS’.

Two of the more finely executed of these are a cross and the letters STEFANOS. This may hint at a later dedication of the church but is more likely to be the name of a visitor with the urge to perpetuate his name. 

Niche in the northern wall

An arched niche carved in the northern wall is now at ground level, but would have been at waist height before sedimentation filled in much of the church. The niche has what appears to be a tomb in the bottom, now filled with water. 

Entrance to the western church

A short distance to the west is another, less impressive, church. As with the eastern church, it is aligned east-west and opens to the south. There is also a niche in the northern wall. 

Western end of the church

This rock-cut cavern is especially difficult to access because of the necessity of lacerating oneself on the barricading vegetation that protects this site better than the most vicious razor wire. 

North wall

The church appears to be of similar dimensions to its eastern counterpart, but the carving is of less delicacy and there are consequently fewer features of immediate interest.

It is difficult to gain any accurate date of establishment of these churches but they were presumably built in the 6th Century in the heyday of Kıyıköy, at the height of Black Sea trade in the reign of Justinian.

References

Civelik, E. (2016) Kıyıköy Liman Oyma Kilisesi (Doğu). Kırklareli Kültür Varlıkları Envanteri. Available online at: http://www.kirklarelienvanteri.gov.tr/anitlar.php?id=84 Accessed 31st Jan 2019

Civelik, E. (2016) Kıyıköy Liman Oyma Kilisesi (Batı). Kırklareli Kültür Varlıkları Envanteri. Available online at: http://www.kirklarelienvanteri.gov.tr/anitlar.php?id=501 Accessed 31st Jan 2019

 

 

 

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