Laodicea, Colossae, & Aphrodisias
Trip Start Jun 21, 2012
9Trip End Jul 11, 2012
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Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
The site is located between Hierapolis, where there are hot springs coming out from under the ground, and Colossae, at the base of the moutons where there would have been cold spring water. When you stand at Laodicea, you can see both of these sites, and it's easy to imagine them having water that was either tepid after coming from the hot springs, or warm after coming from the cold in the other direction. I'd always though hot was good, and cold bad, but the imagery is used to convey usefulness and effectiveness. Cold is good, as is hot, but warm is good for nothing! Also, the Laodicean's refused help to rebuild their city after an earthquake - they were rich and could look after themselves. In the Revelation, Jesus has used imagery that would have been familiar to them, located where they were and in their rich material situation
Our next stop was at Colossae, at the bottom of the mountains. The site here hasn't had any excavation work done at all yet, so it's just an empty mound of dirt in a farmers field! There are a handful of stone blocks and so forth visible, and lots of shards of pottery lying around on the ground that have come up from working the soil, but nothing much at all. Apparently the university that has the right to dig here is spending their money developing Laodicea first, so it will be some time before this site is properly explored.
We had lunch at a beautiful restaurant surrounded by lush gardens, and then moved on to Aphrodisias, which has little biblical mention, but is an interesting site none the less. There is a temple to Aphrodite, a large theatre and various other partially restored structures. The town here had locals living in it until quite recently, and the ancient building materials such as stones, columns, etc had been used in their houses and fences! They were relocated so the site could be properly dug up and restored, but there are photos in a museum showing the houses before this happened.
Our hotel for the night is in a seaside town called Kusadasi, and we'll be here for two nights. It's another 5 star hotel, with amazing views over the Aegean Sea. The sunset was incredible!