Despite Jarret’s still-failing health, we pulled out of the hotel this morning around 8:30 and spend most of our time on the road, save for two gas station stops for bathrooms and snacks. After almost three hours, we stopped at an obscure Hittite monument in the middle of nowhere. Set in the middle of a spring, the monument, decorated with suns, woodlands fairies, mountain gods, and mother goddesses, served to honor the water itself which was often used for purification purposes. There was also at one point an altar in the front of the monument for animal sacrifices. The location was extremely strategic, for it was along the way from the big city to the sea. Because it was built in the 13th century BC, it lacks any sort of inscription about the artist or sponsor, though the sponsor who funded its restoration was the Konya museum around 10 years ago. Apparently this was one of Dr. Goebel’s favorite sites, so I’m glad this photo turned out alright, unlike the next one, quite sadly. From there we went into a small, conservative town to visit a wooden mosque build in the 13th century AS out of cedar wood and chestnut wood treated with lake water to keep it from warping or rotting. The air in this town is usually very dry, so to keep the wood from cracking and snapping, the keepers of the mosque would gather snowfall from the roof and place it in a cistern, which would function as a humidifier and preserve the wood. All the girls were required to wear head scarves, so a group of old lady merchants swarmed up to let us borrow them, the swarmed us again to take them back and ask us to buy their wares. I bought a pair of black slippers with a red rose on them I was considering giving them to someone, but I may keep them to use as studio shoes this fall. From there, we went on to a nice lunch at a park very near the mosque. Simple but still nice enough. We loaded lack on the bus again for a very long drive to the city of Konya for our final destination of the day.
Us covered up for the mosque. Quite the fashion statement, I must say.