Welton Digishorts – 5th church in Revelation – Sardis

Well welcome to city number five of our journey through the seven cities this is the city a ancient city of Sardis you’ll see behind me some amazing pillars these are just incredible this archeological site here is is stunning when you walk up on it it comes out of nowhere when you go around the corner and suddenly there’s these massive pillars originally we saw some of the original pictures of the excavation that started in about 1910 and these two pillars behind me only about the top 20 feet were exposed from the ground and there’s a whole series of pillars that were actually completely buried so they as they’ve done their excavation they brought the the ground level down to the original level of this temple this was actually the Temple of Artemis now we saw the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus which is one of the seven ancient wonders of the world which is built by a King Croesus now Croesus was actually a king here in Sardis but he built that one in Ephesus first and then here he built a local one this one never actually was finished but they had begun it as early as 700 BC so this is incredibly incredibly old antiquity behind me here and so this this temple to artemis which is a fertility goddess would have had an altar there’s actually a limestone area over here where they used to do the sacrifices and and altars all the altar sacrifices all day long and so you can you can feel the the eeriness when you step out onto that limestone section and and feel that you know from 700 BC this is where they were doing these and these sacrifices all day long now behind me as well at the base of the column and a little bit to the right there’s a church an ancient Christian Church that was built around 300 AD as the Christians were were being established here Constantine made Christianity legal and they set up a church literally right next to the temple there is an informational sign over here that talks about how on the gate into the the Temple of Artemis the Christians had actually done like a little of vandalism actually and so there is the Greek letters for light and for life which would be words that would be well used inside of Christianity light and life there’s also crosses that they had graffiti then and had chiseled into the stone these crosses as well so very fascinating some of the history here even on the the placard it talks about how this would have been done by the Christians as sort of a way to banish the demons from the Temple of Artemis which is very sensible actually and as as we have looked at some of this it’s an amazing sight as well because it has been under regular excavation for many many years it actually talked about how Princeton started the excavation here and that since 1958 Harvard University has up until the present all these years has been doing regular excavation here every summer we actually pass a compound on the way in where the Harvard students stay when they come from the states to do their excavation and do their study here so we have this incredible place we have a few other places we’re gonna stop here in Sardis on our journey one of the other ones is a gymnasium which has been renovated and reconstructed in such a magnificent form it might be one of the the best places we see archaeologically on this journey and then the other thing that we can’t go up to to show you today but up on top of that hill right in between the two columns there’s this mountain and it’s it’s got a little flag up there now it’s not actually a little flag it just looks like it from here because we’re several miles away but there’s this enormous flag on top that’s waving and it’ll look quite small from a distance but that is where Sardis used to be that sheer cliff there is where the ancient city of Sardis used to be now there’s a fascinating history around what has happened here over the year so for example they built their Acropolis which is if you remember a high place a High City so they had their Acropolis up there which would have had different temples and different kinds of sacrifices to pagan gods but this high city was also fortified so on three of the four sides you have this sheer cliff which is more than 90 degrees so it actually comes up and bends it bends as it comes up it’s a really challenging unbelievably incredibly hard cliff to climb and yet three of the four sides of the city were were the sheer cliff the fourth side was where it goes down and they had fortified that to garden so Sardis was actually an incredibly fortified area more so than than many of the other cities of this area so that unique geography protected them tremendously from from attack and yet they still had been attacked they had been attacked by Cyrus the Great the Persian king who came through the whole region and took over the cities well when he came an attack he sent up climbers amazing skilled soldier climbers who climbed up one of those outside walls and attacks artists in the middle of the night caught them off guard and just demolished wiped out people like crazy well we have that taking place in about 549 BC and then later we have another attack that costs our Sardis off guard again with mountain climbers that was around 218 BC there was another attack like that and thirdly in 1780 there was a massive earthquake that ripped through the area those first two attacks actually caused them to come down off the hill and they started to build more in the valley regions so there was more temples being built down here more things being transferred down here but the 17 AD earthquake that highly affected Philadelphia as well as Sardis caused a real a real challenge in the area this is the backdrop of what was happening in Sardis that they had on one side they had tremendous wealth Sardis was known for wealth they had a gold mine nearby this was actually the first ancient city to mint gold and silver coins so they had these golden silver coins they created they also in their gold mine it was upstream and so the river that ran through here that there’s this famous river that runs through the area it’s now been dammed up so you can’t see it the same way you used to but at the time because of the gold mine it would wash gold dust through the water this is how rich the area was that even the water happened to gold flowing through it and it just had the perfect climate perfect geography tremendous wealth it was right in the crossroads of the the Royal Road from Persis the the the location of the Persian capital where the Royal Road came through so this was a crossroads of incredible trade wealth that would take place here and so this this ancient city in contrast Thyatira where there’s almost no ruins and there’s very little history and literature it was a lot of common people that were doing the guilds here in Sardis it was very predominant was very wealthy it was very well known there’s a lot of history that surrounds it it was really a major city from 700 BC until 700 AD so we have a 1500 year history there of many different Kings that came through the region there’s so much more to see so I’ll take you around to some other sites next ,…

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