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From an Ancient Road to a Cultural Route

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Elifnaz Durusoy

Chapter 4: Assessing the place: The road between Milas and Labraunda

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1As also set in the previous section, an analysis including the strengths, weaknesses, opportu­nities and threats should be made as the second phase of planning and management of cultural routes. With this respect, in order to determine the necessities, adequacies, capabilities as well as the weaknesses and deficiencies, the road between Milas and Labraunda and its nearby environment should be analyzed. Accordingly, in this section of assessing the place; strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the current status of the road between Milas and Labraunda and the cultural accumulation on and around it are identified and visualized with the help of the natural, man-made, tempo­ral, social and cultural, functional, visual and aesthetic, economic, administrative and finally meaning and spiritual contexts.

2Under the heading of assessing the road between Milas and Labraunda, the current state of the ancient road is evaluated and cat­egorized as strengths, weaknesses, opportuni­ties and threats by giving reference to nine equally weighted contexts which are identified in the section of “understanding the place”. As reflected in the categories of strengths and opportunities, the region and the road have rich and diverse assets and values. As also shown, especially the location, unique nature, nearby cultural accumulation, ongoing inhabitancy pattern, continuing social and cultural charac­ter, different functions, visually and aesthetically rich charm, economic sustainability, leg­ends and memories of the road between Milas and Labraunda should be underlined as crucial assets for the region.

3However, the road between Milas and Labraunda were transformed into a transpor­tation path together with static components including non-valuable structures and/or units by the existing weaknesses and threats with the negative effects of modern days. Especially, the unused and/or empty areas, the non-visible state, difficult accessibility conditions, lack of care and lack of holistic presentation, currently unused situation, disappearing social and cul­tural values, lack of agencies and organizations working to improve the general condition, the present usage and function of the road, lack of visual and aesthetic integrity, insufficient financial sources and lack of available equip­ment of the key interest groups and partners, deficiency of the current conservation, planning and development activities, physical components of the cultural accumulation that are not legally registered, new construction works that are not compatible with the historical mean­ing and spiritual context and high vehicular use of the road between Milas and Labraunda have been changing the historical identity of the road between Milas and Labraunda day by day.

4Considering these identified information, it can be said that the road should be approached not only from a planning problem but also a con­servation and development view. Accordingly, based on the information gathered in the phase of the “understanding of the road between Milas and Labraunda and the cultural accumu­lation on and around it” together with the data derived from the documents and excavations as well as the existing situation of the region, the stage of assessing the road should be continued with an overall assessment of the components of the cultural accumulation.

5In this respect, all of the components of the cultural accumulation on and around the ancient road between Milas and Labraunda should be evaluated according to their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats; indi­vidually (Table 3). Afterwards, according to these data derived, zones showing clusters of the components of cultural accumulation - because of their togetherness - should be iden­tified. These two groups of information assist to highlight the objectives of the cultural route project, significance of place, theme of the final model, general decisions and therefore a basis for the priority of implementation regarding the proposed cultural route for the road between Milas and Labraunda.

Table 3: Overall evaluation of the road between Milas and Labraunda

Components

Overall Evaluation

Components

Overall Evaluation

Natural Components

Variety of natural components: forested areas in north, agricultural lands in south,

Continuing natural activities such as agriculture, green housing, olive production, etc.,

Historical connotations of some of the natural components such as the split rock of Labraunda, ancient springs, sacred plane trees etc.

Labraunda

Location of Labraunda in the highest position of the topography as the destination point of the road,

Existence of visual and aesthetic striking points,

Unique structures and natural values including archaeological assets, architectural structures, monumental like trees in Labraunda,

Ongoing excavation works for Labraunda.

Remaining Parts of the Road Between Milas and Labraunda

Distributed configuration of

the remaining parts of the road between Milas and Labraunda,

Continuous pattern of the remaining parts of the road between Kargıcak and Labraunda.

Spring Houses and Wells

Locations of wells and their closeness to rural settlements

Kargıcak, Yukarıilamet and Aşağıilamet,

Distributed configuration of the

spring houses and wells along the road between Milas and Labraunda,

Continuous functions of the presently operating spring houses as resting points,

Scarcity of wells in terms of their numbers: two wells.

Fortification Towers

Locations of fortification towers and their visual and aesthetic observation opportunities,

Ongoing excavation works for fortification towers.

Honey Towers

Locations of honey towers on elevated big rocks and their visual and aesthetic observation opportunities,

Closeness of honey towers to rural settlement patterns of the region,

Honey towers as the rare elements that provide information regarding the honey production patterns of rural life,

Disseminated configuration of honey towers along the road between Milas and Labraunda.

Components

Overall Evaluation

Components

Overall Evaluation

Tombs

Existence of different kinds of tombs: monumental tomb, rock- cut chamber tombs, subterranean chamber-tombs, rock-cut sarcophagi tombs, simple pit tombs and cist graves,

Numerous numbers of tombs discovered along the route between Milas and Labraunda and their unique arrangements,

Existence of the necropolis where a group of tombs are discovered,

Ongoing excavation works for

tombs.

Bridges

Remote locations of bridges to each other,

Bridges as the crucial traces that prove the historical path of the road between Milas and Labraunda,

The scarcity of bridges in terms of their numbers: Two bridges,

Existence of bridges dated back to different historical periods: therefore a crucial trace for the continuous use of the road between Milas and Labraunda,

Existence of bridges as important traces regarding the historical path of the ancient road.

Baltalı Kapı Street

Location of Baltalı Kapı Street in Milas as the starting point and

- the existence of the Baltalı Kapı Monument itself as the origin point of the road between Milas and Labraunda,

Open market area of Baltalı Kapı as a crucial social and economic input,

Existence of the in-situ stone blocks,

Existence of traditional structures that can be used with different functions,

Ongoing rehabilitation projects for Baltalı Kapı Street.

Kırcağız

Dual spatial formation of Kırcağız as: old-Kırcağız and new-Kırcağız

Strong relationship of old Kırcağız with the topography of the region in terms of visual and aesthetic points of view,

Irrelevant characteristics of recently building new structures with the historical settlement pattern of Kırcağız,

Existence of historical oil factories as traditional production structures.

Kızılcayıkık

Location of Kızılcayıkık in Sarıçay valley close to fertile lands of the region,

Continuous agricultural and green housing characteristics of Kızılcayıkık,

Existence of traditional structures that can be used with different functions.

Kargıcak, Yukarıilamet and Aşağıilamet

Location of Kargıcak in the middle of the road between Milas and Labraunda, as the closest village to Labraunda,

Spatial configuration of Kargıcak, its compatibility with the unique topography of the region therefore existence of visual and aesthetic panorama points,

Location of Yukarıilamet and Aşağıilamet in terms of their closeness to the archaeological site Labraunda,

Continuous functions of the traditional structures located in Yukarıilamet and Aşağıilamet.

© Institut français d’études anatoliennes, 2014

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