Being a Biblical Historian who focused on studying the development of the Torah, I am undeniably interested in things that are ancient. If something isn’t AT LEAST 2000 years old, my curiosity is generally not piqued (and that’s being generous, I generally prefer at least 3000 years old). The first time then I stepped into a Neolithic structure (about 5,000 years old), my heart was a flutter…
With this in mind, I’ve been just slightly disappointed to read that most history books date Istanbul to about 700 BCE (yes, I know this is old, but not old enough to make my hear flutter the way something 5,000 years old did). The story is that it was settled by Gerek cononists. The leader, Byzas, was told by the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi that he should settle across from the ‘land of the blind ones.” When sailing into what is now Istanbul, Byzas determined it to be what the Oracle meant because previous settlers must have been blind to have overlooked such a wonderful location.
But you see, I don’t buy it. I know that most historical places are built upon older historical places. (For a fun Historical-fiction on this idea, read “The Source” by James Michener). So I did a bit more digging and found this little gem:
Istanbul’s Ancient Past Unearthed! They claim to have found a burial sign from the 1600 BCE’s. Now THAT’s what I’m talking about! The article is very interesting. It points out that the Bosphorous Strait wouldn’t have been formed yet, which means the landscape and such would’ve been much different from today. I’m going to have to do more research, but it would be interesting to know what happened between the time of those first settlers and when teh Greeks came.
I am delighted.