This morning we were supposed to visit a shrine dedicated to the Seven Sleepers. This is a story, which can be found in many different languages and cultures. Georgia Frank, a professor from Colgate University in New York state lectured to us about it. Here is a short version of the story:
“Once there were seven young men who were supposed to make an offering to the emperor to worship him. Since they were Christians they did not want to make an offering to the emperor, so they went and hid in a cave. They brought some money with them and so they had a few coins. When they were in the cave already the Emperor’s workers found them and buried them alive in the cave. 200 years later they woke up and came out of the cave. Everything looked so different and now it was not bad to be a Christian. They were hungry and still had a few coins, so they gave a coin to a small boy who was passing by and asked him to buy them some bread and bring it back.
When the boy got to the bread shop the baker was astonished when he saw the coin. He told the boy that it was a very old coin and either he had found a treasure or stolen the money. If he didn’t want to be arrested he had to take the baker to where the “treasure” was and then the baker would not have the boy arrested. When they returned to the seven young men the baker was amazed and right away praised God for raising them from the dead! They built a shrine at the place and ever since then pilgrims have come there hoping and praying for miracles from God.”
There are versions of this story told in many different languages and in many different places. This morning we started by visiting so many different areas of the Ephesus archaeological site that by the time we got to the Seven Sleepers we were already late for lunch. The key that opened the lock to the area that only the archaeologist can get in was not working. So, here is a question for you. I have added a poll to the blog and I need your answer by the end of the day Wednesday. On Thursday the group is going to go back to the Seven Sleepers again at 7:30 am (very early!!) Do you think that I should get up and out to see that site or not? Do you have any curiosity about it?
We have been meeting experts in many fields and also archaeologists from the site at Ephesus. This is a picture of Candice. She is from Southern California and is here in Ephesus digging. I asked her why she became an archaeologist. She told me that there were many influences when she was young. She really liked Indiana Jones and thought what he did was cool. As a young girl she liked digging to look for archaeological finds and had a special site in her grandfather’s garden. She led her sisters on digs and they found things like arrowheads (this was in Texas). Later she was fascinated by myths. Have any of you read books by Richard Riordan? They are based on ancient myths. By the time she went to college she decided that what she wanted to be was an archaeologist and so she took classes and did field work to become one in college. She says it is hard work and that an archaeologist does not make a lot of money. In fact she may decide to do something different as a career in the future. So, I hope you will vote yes or no to let me know whether I should go to the Seven Sleeper’s trip on Thursday. Right now I am really tired of seeing sites like this and being hot. I plan to spend a restful afternoon at the hotel while the rest of the group goes to several different museums. I look forward to hearing from you!