The Innocents Abroad - Chapter 39


The Innocents Abroad - Chapter 39
Smyrna's Lions—The Martyr Polycarp—The "Seven Churches"—Remains of the Six Smyrnas—Mysterious Oyster Mine Oysters—Seeking Scenery—A Millerite Tradition—A Railroad Out of its Sphere

I've been rather curious about the oyster beds described by Mark Twain, or rather the veins of shells mixed with broken crockery. My attempts at Google searching this rarely get me past New Smyrna Beach, Florida. What I have found out, though, is this region once supported a rather flourishing neolithic population that utilized shellfish and other marine resources. I did find one paper available on-line as a PDF, Neolithic Shellfish Gathering at Yeşilova: An Ethnoarchaeological View by Zafer Derin. It would seem that Twain's first thought of a restaurant in the area may not be too far amiss, regardless of the absence of champagne corks.


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Submitted by scott on

Mark Twain and the pilgrims took the train from Smyrna to Ephesus and according to Ian Strathcarron, Innocence and War, they were accompanied by John Turtle Wood. Five years previous he was sent to the Ottoman province of Aiden by his employer, a civil engineering consortium. He was a specialist in designing railway stations. While there "he became fascinated by the undug ruins of the great Greek and Roman capital of Asia Minor...". He had reduced his involvement in the railroad and began excavations searching for the Temple of Artemis. Two years after Twains visit he found the first remains of the temple.