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If you want to do a little time travelling from our civilisation yet be reassured that there is nothing new under the sun, go to the museum at Aphrodisias, a Classical site being excavated in Turkey.
Here, Britannia is shown as a bare-breasted barbarian woman (Boadicea?
The continuity, rather than the transitory nature of human life here, was the main impression we carried away and we agreed that the absence of crowds had a lot to do with it.
I also think that, with some exceptions, Turkish food can be better and sometimes cheaper in north London than in the restaurants on tourist routes in Turkey.
Thanks to the display notes, I saw things I would have completely overlooked: an early Classical head of Alexander the Great with a neat line incised across the throat, a pious addition in the sixth century when Aphrodisias had a hardline Christian bishop.
Other statues had fared less well in this period, some being defaced beyond recognition.
I discovered them by stubbing my toe on one, although they are clearly visible if you look down through the limpid water.
But I am glad I sampled the water because it really does have therapeutic properties.
We met hardly anyone at Pinara and no one at all at Alinda, where we picnicked in the ruined theatre encircled by distant mountains, with only the wind whispering through the olive trees which have thrust themselves at crazy angles between the seats and fill most of the stage.