Images of Antiquity: Smyrna & Thyatira, Pt. 1

In a number of previous posts, I have shared photographs from a trip that I took through Turkey and Greece. Because so many believers never have the opportunity to journey to and through these ancient sites, I want to share some of my photos; this might allow some people to put a face on or an image with the places that they read about in Scripture. So, along with my series on “Studies in Mark,” I want to begin another new series: “Images of Antiquity.” Below is the first part in this new series. Enjoy.

(Click the photos for larger, more clear viewing.)


These are Roman aqueducts located on the outskirts of "Izmir," or ancient "Smyrna" (you can sense the etymology at work in the name change). Smyrna is mentioned in Revelation 1.11 and 2.8ff.

This is a photo of modern-day Izmir. When it comes to bibical studies, next to nothing of antiquity can be found in this large city. The city, is very large and very compact. Like most U.S. cities, it is predominately secular with a tint of religious devotion here and there. There are a handful of Churches in the city. Recently, 10 Christians were killed by Islamists for publishing Bibles in Izmir. So, there still is some persecution of Christians taking place.

This is a photograph that was taken at the harbor downtown. Many ships come in and out of this area. Izmir is the third largest province in the country and is located in the southwest (a.k.a. southwest of ancient Asia Minor). It is about 35 miles north of Ephesus, which is not far from the island of Patmos.


This is a photo taken in Thyatira, now called Akhisar. The picture is of the walls of a 2nd to 4th century AD basillica. As you can see, like many ancient buildings that have been uncovered, the roof is missing. This basillica occupies about a quarter of the site that has been preserved. Thyatira is mentioned in Acts 16.4, Rev. 1.11 and 2.18ff.

Other than the above picture of the basillica and these rows of pedestals and columns, only the remains of a small home exist at this site. Most of the relics are stone with some form of design or engraving on them. Archeologists are eager to broaden their digging but because this site is located directly in the middle of a modern town (there is a grocery store on one side of it, houses on the other, a school on another and small stores on the remaining side; not to mention the fact that the perimeter is marked by four modern roads), they cannot.

1 comment:

  1. Thansk for sharing the photos Michael! They are awesome! I'd love to take a tour through there some day too - and to the holy land. Hope all is well.