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IGS Expedition to Tarsus

The Imperial Geographical Society yesterday conducted an expedition to Tarsus, the biblical hometown of St Paul the Apostle.

St Paul’s Well

The expedition was comprised of Lord Dionisiy Tezdzhan-Smahin and his wife Lady Mariia.

It was the first expedition to take place outside of Europe, and the first to not have included Emperor Jonathan I amongst its participants. This is a major step for the IGS, which since 2017 has been aiming to conduct an expedition not requiring the personal direction of the Emperor.

Tarsus is an ancient settlement, dating back to the Neolithic period and named by the Hittites.

The expedition first encountered the Danyal Makami or Mausoleum of Daniel, one of several claimants to be the tomb of the Prophet Daniel. This site is thought to have been identified as the prophet’s tomb by the Caliph Umar (r. 634-644).

The expedition then continued past a Roman section of the city walls to Saint Paul’s Well, a well situated next to the ruin of a Roman house claimed to have been that of St Paul himself. The well is twenty metres deep and still yields drinkable water. It is supposed that St Paul would have drunk from the well during his lifetime.

The Duke and Duchess continued by car to the Tarsus Waterfall, where the expedition concluded with lunch.