Some snapshots from the spectacular Umayyad site of Aanjar in Lebanon. This fortified city was built in the early 8th century AD on the same principles as a Roman city, i.e. using a square grid plan and with colonnaded streets. Its builders also made extensive use of spolia. Aanjar had several bathhouses, heated by hypocaust […]

Theodoret’s Digs

Here’s some photos from Theodoret’s hometown of Cyrrhus in northern Syria. Theodoret was famously outspoken on the ‘errors’ of pagan gods. In his Ellenikon Therapeutike Pathematon (“Remedy for Greek [i.e. pagan] Maladies”), he condemned representations of Venus as “more shameless than that of any prostitute standing in front of a brothel” (3.79) and caricatured Dionysos […]

A Visit to “Le Jardin Romain”

65 metres worth of opus spicatum, Caumont-sur-Durance. Photo: TMK, August 2008. A relatively ‘new’ Roman site in Provence is “Le Jardin Romain” in Caumont-sur-Durance. The site opened in July 2006, and has branded itself as a sort of didactic playground (labyrinth included). The villa to which the garden originally belonged is still buried below modern […]