This collection of Greek trireme models has been created to highlight the historic maritime heritage of Greece.
Specifically, the scope of the exhibit encompasses the development of the trireme from its first occurrence until the end of its dominance.
The aims and objectives of the exhibit also include ongoing research, study, and discovery, as well as the classification and examination of historical data associated with the Greek trireme.
The ultimate aim of the collection is to create a museum whose focus is Greek naval history in antiquity.

Karfas Chios 82100
Greece

Tel: +30 2271033014
Mob: +30 6982974900

email:georgemoromalos@gmail.com
oceanblue.mor@hotmail.com

Τετάρτη, 2 Ιανουαρίου 2013

The Dorak Affair

The Dorak Affair

FIFTY years ago, on 29 November 1959, the Illustrated London News ran a ‘FIRST AND EXCLUSIVE REPORT OF A CLANDESTINE EXCAVATION WHICH LED TO THE MOST IMPORTANT DISCOVERY SINCE THE ROYAL TOMBS OF UR’. Distinguished archaeologist James Mellaart listed the ‘Royal treasure of Dorak,’ named after the village in Turkey where they were unearthed. The Dorak treasures included a gold statuette, silver-inlaid swords and daggers, and dismantled panels form a throne, complete with a gold sheet adorned with Egyptian hieroglyphics dating the finds to around 2473 BC. An engraving on one sword blade showed ‘certainly the earliest detailed representation of ocean-going ships outside Egypt’. So spectacular were the finds that Mellaart concluded that it was here in the ‘Yortan’ province neighbouring the contemporary Troy of King Priam, that Mediterranean civilization kick-started. Mellaart’s article was accompanied by drawings based on his own sketches of the impressive artefacts, with an apology that ‘Owing to the circumstances of this discovery’ there were no photos yet. A book on the ‘founders of civilization’ was promised soon, which would turn archaeology on its head. Then things went a little weird. None of the Dorak treasures – or any photos of them – have shown up anywhere. The archaeological establishment soon doubted whether the finds had ever existed. Dorak was hastily forgotten – an embarrassment of Piltdownian proportions. James Mellaart, (‘Jimmie’ to most colleagues), was a Dutchman of Scottish descent whose first encounter with archaeology came when he reached the age of conscription. With Holland under German occupation, the Swiss consul advised he hide out the war in Leiden University’s Department of Egyptology. In 1951 he got a scholarship to study with the British Institute of Archaeology in Ankara, (BIAA), based in Turkey’s capital. He gained a reputation for his uncanny, knack, almost like ‘a water diviner’ of walking a potential site, reading the signs, picking a spot to excavate, and striking it rich almost immediately. By the time of the ‘Dorak affair’ he already had two sensational discoveries in Turkey to his name: the Neolithic site of Hacilar, found after following up on local gossip, and Çatal Hüyük, one of the ‘earliest sites of civilization,’ where hunter-gatherers made the leap to farming. From the beginning, Mellaart was fascinated by the Biblical ‘Sea People’ of the thirteenth millennium BC, who he thought may have lived along Turkey’s coast. Mellaart thought he’d found the semi-mythical ‘Sea People’ in the Dorak hoard. In Mellaart’s own account, he was on an evening train to Izmir in 1958, on his way to view artefacts in an Izmir museum. A girl entered and sat opposite him. She was, as Mellaart recalled ‘very attractive… in a tarty sort of way.’ And she wore a gold bracelet, reminiscent of the bracelets found at Troy. The girl, who spoke English with an American accent, introduced herself as Anna Papastrati and told him she had many bracelets at home like the one she wore, would Mellaart like to see them? At her Izmir home, Anna showed Mellaart more gold artefacts, a bit at a time, ‘She seemed to be teasing me,’ Mellaart later observed. Some old, damaged, photos were produced, showing ‘skeletons in tombs’, with writing on them in modern Greek. There was a vague story about Anna’s family uncovering the tombs in the village of Dorak, on the shore of Lake Apolyont during the Greek-Turkish war in the early 1920s. Mellaart ended up staying three days at Anna’s house, making notes and sketching antiquities: an ‘erotic’ gold statue of a goddess holding her breasts, ceremonial axe heads and sceptres in marble and obsidian. Anna eventually agreed to send Mellaart photos of the Dorak hoard at a later date. Only on leaving Anna’s house did Mellaart remember to ask for its address – 217 Kazim Dirik Street. Izmir was rapidly expanding at the time, and the street, now believed to be 1777 Street, changed its name at least four times since 1958. Four years later, the Turkish authorities couldn’t find the house, and said the district was a commercial zone with no residential properties. The promised photos of the Dorak hoard never came, but a curiously unconvincing typed letter signed ‘Love. Anna’ arrived for Mellaart, granting permission to use the sketches in an article. Lacking any photographic evidence, the BIAA declined to sponsor publications on Dorak in archaeological journals, so Mellaart took it to Illustrated London News, which regularly ran archaeology features. Details changed in later versions of Mellaart’s Dorak story: he stayed a week instead of just three days, the Dorak incident had taken place several years earlier, but he’d been sworn to secrecy, or he’d been afraid to tell his wife he’d spent several days at the house of a strange woman. The small number of people who’ve seen Mellaart’s 60,000-word unpublished monograph on Dorak – complete with rubbings from sword blades – are convinced that this work is too elaborate for Mellaart to have made the whole thing up. The most likely explanation for the Dorak hoard is that some of it was genuine, looted from sites around Turkey, mixed in with fakes, and a single genuine Egyptian piece to (fraudulently) date it. ‘Anna’ was a plant, a honey-trap to lure a respected archaeologist into authenticating the hoard, with a view to selling it to a millionaire collector abroad – Istanbul antique dealers speculate that the US, Greece or Egypt could be likely destinations for the Dorak treasure, whatever it was. The Turkish authorities subscribed to this view. Turkish newspaper Milliyet suddenly announced on 29 May 1962 it believed Mellaart was part of a plot to smuggle £48 million-worth of Dorak ‘national treasures’ out of Turkey. A criminal case on smuggling charges was brought against Mellaart that year, which was dropped in a general amnesty in 1965. Turkey’s Department of Antiquities refused Mellaart all further permits to excavate in the country. Dorak slipped out of the annals of archaeology and into the realms of mystery. And in a twist worthy of Hergé’s Adverntures of Tintin, when I went to look at the British Library’s microfilm copy of Mellaart’s original 1959 Illustrated London News article, I found that in the copy that had been microfilmed, the four unnumbered pages with the colour plates showing drawings of the Dorak treasures had been torn out! FURTHER READING http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0510/S00120.htm ΤΟ ΜΥΣΤΗΡΙΟ ΓΥΡΩ ΑΠΟ ΤΑ ΠΛΟΙΑ ΤΟΥ DORAK - ΤΟ ΠΛΟΙΟ ΤΗΣ ΙΩΛΚΟΥ ΚΑΙ ΤΑ ΠΛΟΙΑ ΤΟΥ ΘΗΣΑΥΡΟΥ ΤΟΥ ΝΤΟΡΑΚ http://perialos.blogspot.gr/2012/09/dorak.html

 













Guestbook & Posters






Guestbook & Posters

Trireme Gallery

Trireme Gallery

This collection of Greek trireme models has been created to highlight the historic maritime heritage of Greece. 
Specifically, the scope of the exhibit encompasses the development of the trireme from its first occurrence until the end of its dominance. 
The aims and objectives of the exhibit also include ongoing research, study, and discovery, as well as the classification and examination of historical data associated with the Greek trireme.
The ultimate aim of the collection is to create a museum whose focus is Greek naval history in antiquity.

















Troas - Assos

Troas - Assos

Assos (Greek: Άσσος), also known as Behramkale or for short Behram, is a small historically rich town in the Ayvacık district of the Çanakkale Province, Turkey.
The city was founded from 1000-900 BC by Aeolian colonists from Lesbos, who specifically are said to have come from Methymna. The settlers built a Doric Temple to Athena on top of the crag in 530 BC.From this temple Hermias of Atarneus, a student of Plato, ruled Assos, the Troad and Lesbos for a period of time, under which the city experienced its greatest prosperity. (Strangely, Hermias was actually the slave of the ruler of Atarneus. Under his rule, he encouraged philosophers to move to the city. As part of this, in 348 BC Aristotle came here and married King Hermeias's niece, Pythia, before leaving for Lesbos three years later in 345 BC. This 'golden period' of Assos ended several years later when the Persians arrived, and subsequently tortured Hermias to death.
The Persians were driven out by Alexander the Great in 334 BC. Between 241 and 133 BC, the city was ruled by the Kings of Pergamon. However, in 133 BC, the Pergamons lost control of the city as it was absorbed by the Roman empire.
















Τρίτη, 1 Ιανουαρίου 2013

Lycia - Xanthos

Lycia - Xanthos

Xanthos is the Greek appellation of Arñna, a Lycian city. The Hittite and Luwian name of the city is given as Arinna (not to be confused with the Arinna near Hattusa). The Romans called the city Xanthus, as all the Greek -os suffixes were changed to -us in Latin. Xanthos was a center of culture and commerce for the Lycians, and later for the Persians, Macedonians, Greeks, and Romans who in turn conquered the city and occupied the adjacent territory.
Xanthus is mentioned by numerous ancient Greek and Roman writers. Strabo notes Xanthos as the largest city in Lycia. Both Herodotus and Appian describe the conquest of the city by Harpagus on behalf of the Persian Empire, in approximately 540 BC. According to Herodotus, the Persians met and defeated a small Lycian army in the flatlands to the north of the city. After the encounter, the Lycians retreated into the city which was besieged by Harpagus. The Lycians destroyed their own Xanthian acropolis, killed their wives, children, and slaves, then proceeded on a suicidal attack against the superior Persian troops. Thus, the entire population of Xanthos perished but for 80 families who were absent during the fighting.
During the Persian occupation, a local leadership was installed at Xanthos, which by 520 BC was already minting its own coins. By 516 BC, Xanthos was included in the first nomos of Darius I in the tribute list. Xanthos' fortunes were tied to Lycia's as Lycia changed sides during the Greco-Persian Wars, archeological digs demonstrate that Xanthos was destroyed in approximately 475 BC-470 BC, whether by the Athenian Kimon or by the Persians is open to debate. As we have no reference to this destruction in either Persian or Greek sources, some scholars attribute the destruction to natural or accidental causes. Xanthos was rebuilt after the destruction and in the final decades of the 5th century BC, Xanthos conquered nearby Telmessos and incorporated it into Lycia.