Re: Constantinople's walls: lack of systematic
archaeological work & linguistic barrier twixt local scholars & international scholarly community makes the situation complicated. The farce climaxes in the fact the Byzantine names of many gates are not yet known.
The BIG debate on exact location of the Gate of St Romanos (no small feature) – between Hanak & Philippides on the one side & the Effenbergers on the other – is proof of how complex even the most basic of Qs can get.
Some of the difficulty comes fr fact that Ottoman engineers altered Land Walls e..g Yedikule castle & parts of the wall around the Edirne kapi. Ottomans also let towers be used as drinking-houses & workshops.
In C20th Land Walls were altered during urbanisation of Constantinople. Reverse of coin is that Turks also took an interest in restoring parts. An example is area of the Mermerkule done by Zeynep Ahunbay & her team. At same time, quality of the restoration is questionable.
Tonic to much of this ignorance has come fr The “Istanbul Walls” project funded by Koç University & the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.
And if our state of knowledge on land walls is bad, our knowledge of the Sea Walls is ABYSMAL.
Golden Horn Walls were consumed by the Ottoman city. They survive in a fragmentary state twixt Ayvansaray & Unkapanı. By contrast, Marmara sea walls were less affected. They stood in long stretches directly on the sea shore until urban development of C19th/20th.
Τhe best preserved section of the seafront fortification remains the stretch between Sarayburnu and the Boukoleon Palace.
Sole extant late antique inscription of the Sea Walls = gate next to church of Sts Sergios & Bakkhos. Prob C6th it combines verses fr the Psalms & Habakkuk. The gate still stands, but inscription has suffered extensive damage & now partly lost.
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