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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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Archive for December, 2014

Posted December 31, 2014
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The Church of St George, Evcik
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Posted December 30, 2014
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Posted December 29, 2014
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Posted December 28, 2014
  Posted by in Uncategorized
Church of St George, Evcik

Church of St George, Evcik

Fifty kilometres west of Istanbul is a defensive wall comparable in scale with Hadrian’s Wall. This has become associated with the emperor Anastasius I who strengthened the wall during his reign between 491 and 518 and added some of the flourishes that are visible now.

Wall section near Karacaköy

Wall section near Karacaköy

The wall stretched across Thrace from Evcik on the Black Sea coast to just west of Selymbria (now Silivri) on the Marmara.

In length more akin to the Antonine Wall in Scotland than to Hadrian’s Wall, the 5m high Anastasian Wall had a complexity that seems otherwise unknown in a defensive structure on the European mainland. In the central section, there are the remains of what has become known as the Büyük Bedestan, a Roman-style Castrum 350m in length and 250m wide.

The remains of a military gate with defensive towers

The remains of Hisar Tepe, a military gate with defensive towers

The wall does not appear to have been particularly successful in repelling the Slavs, Bulgars and Huns against whom it was built. The Castrum shows Anastasius’s commitment to keeping a decent garrison manning the wall but later emperors could not provide enough soldiers to realise its defensive capabilities. After the 7th Century, much of the cut stone in the wall had been stolen by the locals and used to build their houses.

Wall section beween Karacaköy and Evcik

Wall section between Karacaköy and Evcik

The wall has largely disappeared. Parts can still be seen, especially in the northern section towards the Black Sea.

Excavation at northern end of wall in Evcik. Church of St George in background

Excavation at northern end of wall in Evcik. Church of St George in background

The Church of St George (41.450514, 28.382490) was built just inside the wall above Evcik Iskelesi. It appears to have been constructed in the tenth or eleventh century, long after the wall had fallen into disrepair. Its only connection with the wall may be that the building materials came from it.

West front of narthex, Church of St George

West front of narthex, Church of St George

The building is a traditional domed three-apse church with a narthex. The roof has collapsed but there is a large amount of stonework remaining, especially underground. Jim Crow and Alessandra Ricci investigated the church from 1995 onward as part of the Anastasian Wall project. The trenches from their excavations allow a view below current ground level down to Byzantine ground zero.

Base of dome, southern section of narthex

Base of dome, southern section of narthex

Now we have a lovely, albeit ruined, church overlooking the long, pristine beaches of the Black Sea.

Church of St George with view over Evcik Beach

Church of St George with view over Evcik Beach 

In summer  2017, the church is attracting the attention of treasure hunters. There has been no real structural damage as yet but one substantial tunnel has been dug from the western side into the area of the vaults. It does not look as if this foray has been particularly rewarding.

Tunnel dug into the foundations of the Evcik church

Tunnel dug into the foundations of the Evcik church 

Small arch on southern wall of Evcik Church

Small arch on southern wall of Evcik Church

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Posted December 28, 2014
  Posted by in Uncategorized
Church of St George, Evcik

Church of St George, Evcik

Fifty kilometres west of Istanbul is a defensive wall comparable in scale with Hadrian’s Wall. This has become associated with the emperor Anastasius I who strengthened the wall during his reign between 491 and 518 and added some of the the flourishes that are visible now.

Wall section near Karacaköy

The wall stretched across Thrace from Evcik on the Black Sea coast to just west of Selymbria (now Silivri) on the Marmara.

In length more akin to the Antonine Wall in Scotland than to Hadrian’s Wall, the 5m high Anastasian Wall had a complexity that seems otherwise unknown in a defensive structure on the European mainland. In the central section, there are the remains of what has become known as the Büyük Bedestan, a Roman-style Castrum 350m in length and 250m wide.

The remains of a military gate with defensive towers

The remains of Hisar Tepe, a military gate with defensive towers

The wall does not appear to have been particularly successful in repelling the Slavs, Bulgars and Huns against whom it was built. The Castrum shows Anastasius’s commitment to keeping a decent garrison manning the wall but later emperors could not provide enough soldiers to realise its defensive capabilities. After the 7th Century, Much of the cut stone in the wall had been stolen by the locals and used to build their houses.

Wall section beween Karacaköy and Evcik

The wall has largely disappeared. Parts can still be seen, especially in the northern section towards the Black Sea.

Excavation at northern end of wall in Evcik. Church of St George in background

Excavation at northern end of wall in Evcik. Church of St George in background

The Church of St George was built just inside the wall above Evcik Iskelesi. It appears to have been constructed in the tenth or eleventh century, long after the wall had fallen into disrepair. Its only connection with the wall may be that the building materials came from it.

West front of narthex, Church of St George

West front of narthex, Church of St George

The building is a traditional domed three-apse church with a narthex. The roof had collapsed but there is a large amount of stonework remaining, especially underground. Jim Crow and Alessandra Ricci investigated the church from 1995 onward as part of the Anastasian Wall project. The trenches from their excavations allow a view below current ground level down to Byzantine ground zero.

Base of dome, southern section of narthex

Base of dome, southern section of narthex

Now we have a lovely, albeit ruined, church overlooking the long, pristine beaches of the Black Sea.

Church of St George with view over Evcik Beach

Church of St George with view over Evcik Beach

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