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The astonishingly unspoilt village on the northern Aegean, looks across the sea to Lesbos with the ancient city's Theatre and Temple of Athena on the cliffs above it. Assos is the harbour of Behramkale, a clifftop citadel midway between Ayvalık and the westernmost tip of the Troad peninsula.Until the arrival of the Persians, Aristotle had his Academy in the ancient city under King Hermias, who had been a pupil of Plato. A delightful place in early summer and autumn. For a portrait of life in the inland villages of Balıkesir, Heath Lowry's memoir, An Ongoing Affair: Turkey and I, is very engaging. Berrin Torolsan's At Home in Turkey describes houses both in Ayvalık and on the island of Bozcaada, where some of Turkey's best wine is produced.
There are fascinating photographs of Assos in the late 19th century in what was the first American Classical excavation (Photos: University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia, PA, Archives). These can be seen in, John Henry Haynes, published by Cornucopia with text by Robert G Ousterhout, who writes: "Today we see the early excavations of Assos primarily through the eyes of Haynes."
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