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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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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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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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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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September 2019
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Sea walls along Kuleboyu Sokak

Sea walls along Kuleboyu Sokak

Model in Marmaray terminal to illustrate the levels of the archaeological site at Yenikapı

Model in Marmaray terminal to illustrate the levels of the archaeological site at Yenikapı

Yenikapı is an odd part of Istanbul. In Byzantine times, it was the site of the Harbour of Theodosius (or Eleutherios). This has since silted up so the Marmara sea walls appear to be a long way inland. Yenikapı has recently grown further out to sea with the construction of what is locally known as ‘the tumour’, a land reclamation project resulting in a large shoreline park, mostly used for gatherings organised by the ruling Ak Parti.

Marmara sea walls north of the Metro terminal

Marmara sea walls north of the Metro terminal

Yenikapı leapt to archaeological prominence in 2004 when excavations for a major transport hub revealed an unprecedented collection of Byzantine shipping preserved in the harbour sediments. The location was originally chosen because it was thought that digging into an old seabed would avoid the usual Istanbul problem of finding ancient remains, hence holding up construction. Details of the whole process are in this excellent New Yorker article. The excavation turned into Turkey’s biggest archaeological site with findings ranging from an 8500-year-old Neolithic graveyard to the exposure of the magnitude of the Byzantine port. The transport hub is operating after a long delay but the archaeological process continues. Istanbul University has a large temporary facility nearby for preservation of the boats and other artifacts. The whole surrounding area of ad hoc industry and Central Asian transport facilities is in a state of stasis until plans for the area are realised. There is a grandiose proposal for a museum complex and archaeological park covering a vast acreage of Yenikapı. See this site for a plan of The Yenikapı Project. The extent to which this plan will be implemented is debatable.

The temporary site in which Istanbul University archaeologists are attempt to preserve the boats from the harbour excavations

The temporary site in which Istanbul University archaeologists are attempting to preserve the boats from the harbour excavations

Marble details in the harbour wall

Marble details in the harbour wall

Wall of the Harbour of Theodosius

Wall of the Harbour of Theodosius

The foundations of a small 12th century Byzantine church were uncovered in the excavations. The church probably had a wooden superstructure, none of which has survived. The foundations are once again sunk below the surface, somewhere in the concrete labyrinth of the M1 Metro line terminal. They may possibly resurface as part of the overall project.

This photo is from http://www.cura.co.uk/turkey/the-byzantine-harbour/

This photo is from http://www.cura.co.uk/turkey/the-byzantine-harbour/

Ionic capital along ruined colonnade

Ionic capital along ruined colonnade

A large area of Byzantine foundations (41.003847, 28.945328) in the west of the Marmaray excavation zone is of more significance. This region was an active archaeological site until 2011 and much material has been removed to the Archaeological Museum for further study. It has been left as a wasteland until the shape of plans for the area become evident. There are vaults of at least one church here but with all Byzantinists currently occupied with findings from transport excavations that may soon be closed up, we will have to wait for some time for a full interpretation.

Wall and shattered colonnade

Wall and shattered colonnade

Byzantine foundations near the Marmaray site

Byzantine foundations near the Marmaray site

Occupied interior of vault

Occupied interior of vault

In the meantime, the site may be entered through a gap in the fence on Helvacı Tahsin Sokak. This gap is used by the current occupier of a church vault, who has added idiosyncratic touches of home decor to his thousand-year-old residence.

Not an original Byzantine feature

Not an original Byzantine feature

Well and church remains in the south-west of the site

Well and church remains in the south-west of the site

Vault towards the north of the site

Vault towards the north of the site

Repairs

Repairs

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