1 February 2011

Capadoccia 3

Posted by Callan Bentley

Today is the umpteenth nasty cold bleak winter day in a row here in Washington, DC, and it’s really nice for me to be able to dip into my reserve of photos from warmer times this past June in Turkey. Here’s some more Capadoccia photos for you to enjoy:

Check out the dove cotes in the next two:

The previous image shows some of the layering that can be observed in the tuff. As the pyroclastic flows tumbled over this area, they lay down massive, internally-poorly-stratified layers. During calmer intervals, ash falls deposited more discernible strata on the scorched ground. These same layers can be traced out inside the dwellings that the Capadoccians carved into the tuff:

See the layer in that last photo, right in the middle of the wall?

Here’s another look at the texture of the tuff in a more poorly-sorted section (lens cap for scale):

In some places, Byzantine inhabitants of these Flintstone-esque shelters decorated them with Christian iconography:

These charming images are in many places defaced or destroyed, thanks to the subsequent spread of Islam and its “no icons” rule.

Exploring the interior of the “fairy towers” is a lot of fun — a big three-dimensional maze of history and archaeology and geology…

Lily poses next to a table and benches carved into the floor and wall — part of the architectural plan:

More decorations (ochre colored) on the interior walls and ceiling of a damaged dwelling:

Distinctively shaped alcoves in the above image, which are mirrored in the distinctively shaped door, seen below:

One more, just for fun — an Indiana Jones moment — fleeing the rolling boulder:

Made it out — just in the nick of time!