03 August 2009

Interpretive Sign Jam: Ariassos

Ariasos is a great out-of-the-way site not too far from Antalya, Turkey, in the ancient region of Pisidia. It hasn't really been excavated, except by enterprising locals. Get a load of the well-preserved triumphal arch:

And the dramatic views from the necropolis atop the city:

Ariassos is a bit out of the way, so I suppose we should be grateful that there's any interpretation at all. But this guy is pretty much it.

The English could be better, but mostly what bothers me is that it's a) all text! and b) incredibly technical and boring text at that. If one has no idea what a bouleuterion or basilica is, this is not too useful.

The other sign:

You see this at a lot of archaeological sites: somewhere, sometime, someone dropped an expensive metal sign, then left it to the tender mercies of visitors and the elements. It's a nice gesture, of course, but these signs never last as long as you think they will, especially in mountain environments. Without a plan (or money) for regular maintenance, it's better to leave the site as it is.

More photos of Ariassos here!

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