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Fifth news item

"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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Fourth news item

Have a look at my page on Amazon. Still plenty of summer left for challenging literature. on 2014-08-13
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Third news item

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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Second news item

My story on the Tate gallery website on 2013-11-11
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First news item

A Thousand Natural Shocks An anthology that includes two of my stories. Available now at Amazon. on 2013-11-11
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August 2014
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Archive for August, 2014

Posted August 31, 2014
  Posted by in Uncategorized

In 1895, Clara Erskine Clement wrote of Topkap? Saray?: “Within the walls of this deserted palace, one finds such desolation as is completely disenchanting.

These days, the palace has the population density of rush hour on the Tokyo Metro. Any attempt to wander into some deserted crypt or hunt out the odd bits that lie in various crannies is recorded on CCTV and addressed by a passive-aggressive man in a uniform. 1895 would have been a wonderful time to be an archaeologist in the mood for digging up Byzantine masonry.

Saray Burnu appears to have been thickly forested with churches in the Byzantine period. Every time some kind of digging happens, more bits of church come to the surface and the great jigsaw guessing game of which church went where and which bits belonged to it starts up again. An excavation in 1937 of the second courtyard of Topkap? Saray? revealed the inevitable church. The foundations showed a 35-metre affair with three naves from the fifth century. In the absence of information as to whom the church was dedicated, it is simply called the Palace Basilica.

Crypt of the Palace Basilica. Second courtyard of Topkap? Saray?.

Crypt of the Palace Basilica. Second courtyard of Topkap? Saray?.

Roof of Byzantine cistern beside Palace Basilica.

Roof of Byzantine cistern beside Palace Basilica.

Glazed tiles from the 1937 excavations.

Glazed tiles from the 1937 excavations, Archaeological Museum.

The columns in Topkap? Saray? are largely recycled from Byzantine buildings. Some of these would inevitably have come from the Palace Basilica.

The columns in Topkap? Saray? are largely recycled from Byzantine buildings. Some of these would inevitably have come from the Palace Basilica.

Remains of a Byzantine colonnade on the northern side of the Topkap? grounds.

Remains of a Byzantine colonnade on the northern side of the Topkap? grounds.

More Byzantine remains in the outer courtyards of Topkap? Saray?.

More Byzantine remains in the outer courtyards of Topkap? Saray?.

Remaining Byzantine arch in the substructures of Topkap? Saray?.

Remaining Byzantine arch in the substructures of Topkap? Saray?.

Massive capital in the second courtyard of Topkap? Saray?.

Massive capital in the second courtyard of Topkap? Saray?.

The excavations for the construction of the Archaeological Museum in Istanbul in the 1890s revealed extensive Byzantine remains. These are very close to the Palace Basilica and may have been part of the same complex of buildings. Among the ruins of a bath complex was this column and capital, similar to those found in the Hospice of St Samson between Aya Sofya and Aya Ireni. It appears to come from a church that was once in the area.

Coumn capital with crucifix motif. Foundation excavations for Istanbul Archaeological Museum.

Column capital with crucifix motif. Foundation excavations for Istanbul Archaeological Museum.

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Posted August 31, 2014
  Posted by in Uncategorized

topkapi-byzantine-remains

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Posted August 31, 2014
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topkapi-colonnade

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Posted August 30, 2014
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topkapi-columns

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Posted August 29, 2014
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palace-basilica-cistern

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