Two Futures for Yassıhöyük

Two watercolors by Naomi F. Miller

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Mixed farming (dry-farmed grain, watered gardens, herding) coexists with archaeological and environmental tourism. Farmers farm, producing artisanal cheese and yogurt for the growing urban market; children play; ecotourists hike, astounded by the biodiversity of the seemingly arid Anatolian plateau; adventure tourists hang-glide off Kızlar Kayası. Lovely downtown Yassıhöyük is filled with gardens and trees, watered by the local springs. Daytrippers from Ankara appreciate this rural oasis a mere 90 km away. Fields of grain evoke Midas's "golden touch."

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Who needs nature? Who needs archaeology? Why not simplify the system, level the tumuli, and irrigate everything? Lower the water table? Not a problem!!!! The oversupply of irrigated onions rots by the dry spring. Wild rue (üzerlik) enjoys the lack of competition in the small unfarmed area of the Midas tumulus. After the land is destroyed, bright yellow apartment buildings will evoke Midas's "golden touch."


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