Yesterday's post about the discovery of the burial site of a female warrior in the Ukraine reminded me that it's easy to forget that ancient Hellas and modern Greece are not the same things, where it comes to the size of the nation. Ancient Hellas stretched out across large parts of Europe and it's good to keep that in mind. Turkey, especially, was a hub of activity in ancient Hellas. I'd like to share with you the top four Hellenic treasures in the country today.

Since Homer’s epic “Iliad”, Troy has become the staff of legend and source of artistic inspiration for millennia. Although a mythical place for many, it is actually a historical place, located on the mound of Hisarlik in modern north-west Turkey.

The excavation of the site is attributed to German entrepreneur Heinrich Schliemann, who began work there in the 1870s. With over 4,000 years of history as a connection point between Eastern and Western civilizations, Troy was named a World Heritage Site in 1998.

Close to modern Selcuk in the Izmir province of western Turkey lies the port city of Ephesus, a remarkably well-preserved paragon of Greek, Roman and early Christian culture, inhabited since the 10th century BC. The Temple of Artemis that belongs to the Classical Greek era is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Library of Celsus is a Roman addition, and was designed to serve as a mausoleum for Senator Celsus, who is buried in the crypt below.

The city was founded in the Hellenistic period by Antiochus I Soter from the Seleucid dynasty, or possibly even earlier, by his father, Seleucus. The name “Antioch” was often used by Antiochus I when founding new settlements and renaming the already existing towns. He founded as many as 16 new Antiochs in Asia Minor and the Middle East.

The term “Pisidian” is frequently added to its name, to distinguish this particular city from other Antiochs. It is not entirely correct since Antioch is located on the border between the ancient Phrygia and Pisidia. Its location is better reflected by its Latin name – “Antioch ad Pisidiam” meaning Antioch [located] in the direction of Pisidia.

Miletus in western Anatolia was one of the most important cities of Ionia. It is located near the mouth of the Meander River in ancient Caria. Today the nearest village is Yenikoy. The archaeological site and the local museum with findings from Miletus, Didyma, Priene and Myous are a must, and so is the theater. Excavations in Miletus started by French archaeologists in 1868, while significant research has been carried out since 1899 under the auspices of the German Archaeological Institute.