When French physician J. Spon began his antiquarian exploration in the company of naturalist G. Wheler, guided by the ancient texts, they could not possibly imagine how attractive the region would become to travellers in later centuries. The first outlines of archaeological sites and monuments of Caria are found in the work by G. Wheler (1682). The subjects of the illustrations which accompany this edition of J. Spon 's voyage (1678), which is highly significant for the author's pioneering exploration of ancient sites, are novel and groundbreaking for their time. Most of the pictures are first-ever depictions of archaeological sites and remains.
In the early 18th century, the travel chronicle by C. de Bruyn (1714) includes a view of the famous valley of the Meander. A rare and unique view of a settlement in the mainland is to be found in the edition of the second voyage made by P. Lucas (1720)
The impressive work by R. Pococke (1745) contains views, plans and drawings of local monuments, preserved until today.
The monumental work by M.G.F.A. Choiseul-Gouffier, which established the primacy of image in travel chronicles, around the late 18th century, has many views of ancient ruins from Mylasa, Stratonice, Euromus, Halicarnassus, and Iassos as well as scenes from everyday life. To the same perid belong the coloured plates by L. Mayer (1803). As with his other works, in “Journal of a tour in Asia Minor”, the British topographer W.M. Leake (1824) provides systematic and detailed archaeological observations.
Views of the remains of ancient cities or details of antiquities (inscriptions and reliefs) are found in the works by Ed. D. Clarke (1814), F.V. Arundell (1828), F.Ch.H.L Pouqueville (1835), R. Walsh / Th. Allom ( 1836-38), J.H. Allan (1843), J. Comte d’Estourmel (1848) and Ch. Wordsworth (1882). The first half of the 19th century saw the publication of Albums, which included interesting views of the Asia Minor cities known as Seven Churches of the Apocalypse (Ch. Mac Farlane, 1832). The impressive edition authored by L.E.S.J. marquis de Laborde (1838) highlighted the richness of the ancient sites of Asia Minor and spurred the interest for archaeological explorations of the area.
British archaeologist Ch. Fellows explored the area and carried away several antiquities on behalf of the British state. One of the editions of his tour (1839) includes very interesting drawings of everyday life snapshots, and snapshots showing the adversities of travelling in the harsh interior of Asia Minor.
French archaeologist Ch.F.M. Texier was among the first to study Byzantine architecture. He published an impressive and thoroughly documented edition on the subject (Texier in 1864), which includes plans and drawings of Byzantine monuments and Christian inscriptions.
In his three-volume “Asie mineure: description géographique, historique et archéologique des provinces et des villes de la Chersonnèse d'Asie” (Texier, reedition of 1882), Texier systematized all hitherto available knowledge on Asia Minor. This edition, which exposes the conclusions drawn from his tour, includes inscriptions, views of locations and plans of monuments as well as details from Tralles, Halicarnassus, Aphrodisias, Mylasa, Lavranda, Knidos etc. The impressive edition authored by L.E.S.J. marquis de Laborde (1838) highlighted the richness of the ancient sites of Asia Minor and spurred the interest for archaeological explorations of the area.
Maps of Caria and wider area are included in the historical and geographical treatise by Ol. Dapper (“Archipel” in 1688), the thorough port index by J. Roux (1804), and the diligent study of southern Asia Minor coast by Fr. Beaufort (1817). Topographical drawings and a map of the journey's itinerary are also found in the works by M.G.F.A. Choiseul-Gouffier (1782) and Ed. D. Clarke (1814).
Written by Ioli Vingopoulou