A Turkish newspaper reports that the government will fund the restoration of a 1st century A.D. lighthouse from Patara. I wouldn’t believe everything you read in the article, but if it was built very early in the reign of Nero, it is possible that the apostle Paul saw it on his visit mentioned in Acts 21:1-2. (Nero reigned from 54 to 68, and Paul’s visit was in approximately 57.)
The Turkish government has allocated a budget to restore an ancient lighthouse, believed to be the world’s oldest.
Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay said Wednesday that his ministry would grant 800,000 Turkish Liras for the restoration of Nero’s Lighthouse, discovered four years ago in the ancient city of Patara, located near today’s Mediterranean town of Gelemiş in Antalya province.
The lighthouse has been dated to around A.D. 60 because the name of Nero, the Roman emperor at the time, was found on significant remnants of the circular inscription that surrounded the structure.
The team came across the ruins of the historical lighthouse, which stands 60 meters from the sea today, during excavation work done in Patara in 2005. “It was covered under an 11-meter high sand dune,” Işık told daily Milliyet at the time. “We had to remove approximately 3,000 truck loads of sand to uncover it. But it should be restored, or we will lose it forever.”
“The world’s oldest lighthouse was known to be the one in Lacaruna, Spain,” Işık said. “The lighthouse we have found is 60 years older than the one in Spain. It has ancient Hellenistic features. The bronze inscriptions indicate that this was a monument of the roman period.”
Işık said they believed the lighthouse was destroyed by a tsunami because a human skeleton was found among the ruins. The skeleton could have belonged to a lighthouse keeper who was trying to escape a tsunami but was crushed under the lighthouse’s stone blocks, she said.
The full article is here.