I FIND IT HARD TO IMAGINE WHAT HAPPENED LAST WEEK, let alone what happened 4000 years ago! I'm sure I must have read something about the world in those far-off times, but I can't remember exactly what was said.
So it was quite strange to come across a piece of history that old just after I popped my head and body out of a small swim-through. The Punic amphora is a large storage vessel that dates back to the 7th-5th century BC, according to a Dr Naglschmid, who came up with the amphora poster in the dive centre. And although this particular pot would be hard-pushed to hold anything these days, thanks to a big hole in the bottom, it looked to be in remarkable condition.
There are few places where you can find artefacts this old simply lying on the floor. OK, so this is a little out of the reach of most passers-by at 27m, but still, it is a lovely thing to encounter.
The dive site is not called Amphora Cave for nothing. Littered all around are the remains of several vessels, some intact and fused to the seabed, others merely broken fragments. Many are in a far better condition than those on display in museums around the world.
The dive is a short boat ride across the bay from the Lykiaworld resort in Turkey (at Oludeniz, near Fethiye), which was handy considering that that was where I was staying. Along for the ride were several German divers taking a break from a family holiday, as well as several kids doing the same.
Lykiaworld, you see, is a family resort of the highest order, with a host of activities for people of all ages. Sounds like a sales pitch, but it's true. I know, because I had several days to experience quite a bit of it.
The diving is just one element, as the resort has - deep breath: a kid's club, health spa, fitness centre, numerous restaurants and bars, paragliding, jet-skis, banana boat, roller blades, quiet area and beach, tennis courts, beach volleyball courts and a range of accommodation from hotel-style rooms to roomy chalets.
No doubt I've missed a few things, but you can look it up on the website.
In addition to all the features, the resort has put together a range of 'Fit 4' packages designed to mould your body and mind to get the best out of your chosen pastime. There are 'Fit 4' programmes for tennis, golf, business - and diving.
The latter was obviously my chosen package and it includes personal training sessions in the fitness centre, nutritional advice, sauna sessions, hydro pool massage treatments, Turkish baths and massages on top of the diving.
My time here didn't allow me to go through the entire programme, but a taste of it left me feeling like a fat kid at a chocolate factory. I just wanted more.
I started my immersion into Lykiaworld with a Turkish bath - well it was raining and the diving was cancelled. Being British, I wasn't quite sure whether to strip naked or keep my trunks on, so took the less embarrassing latter option and was glad I did, as the sauna soon filled up with German ladies of a more elderly persuasion. I think a young man with his tackle on show might not have gone down too well. Or perhaps that's why they were there!
Either way I wasn't going to be butt naked while a large butch Turkish man scrubbed my skin off.

Beaten to a pulp
A Turkish massage is a cross between having a bath as a five-year-old at your Nan's and being beaten to a pulp as a teenager! It is actually rather refreshing to mix the two and it fixed my aching shoulder, soothed my lower back and gave me the sort of deep-down cleanliness that I hadn't experienced since I was a baby.
The rain cleared overnight and the sea was calm the following day as the Turkish gulet dive boat pulled away from the jetty. We headed to Paradise Garden, a very short boat ride away to the left of Lykiaworld's beach.
This is one of the places where the level of fish life is fairly high. This is Turkey, after all, and fish life is about as abundant as binge-drinking grand-mothers. Here at Paradise Garden, however, I found several Mediterranean dusky grouper (albeit small ones), numerous rainbow wrasse, a few saddle bream and small shoals of salema around rocks in the shallows.
Apparently on the sand at around 27m there is also a good chance to see sting rays, and barracuda, but there were none when I dived here. What was there, and in abundance, were Discodoris atromaculata, a cream nudibranch with dark spots. They were especially numerous around sponges that fed on algal blooms created by shimmering siphons of fresh water seeping out of the bedrock.
Although there was quite a bit of life around this site, the best dive for me (in terms of marine life) was right in front of Lykiaworld's 'quiet child-free beach'.
Almost as soon as my head was beneath the surface I found an octopus, which had decided to make a snorkel holder into a toy, or perhaps a comfort blanket, and it wasn't going to give it up. That was in 4m, and as I headed deeper I came across shoals of bream, numerous goatfish, small grouper, painted comber and several nudibranchs of the variety described above. There were also many fireworms, as there were everywhere, and a titan shell - a huge sea-snail.
The shore dive was wonderful. It's what students and many of the children who dive at Lykiaworld get to see.
I was surprised by the number of children diving and enjoying the experience, with and without parents.
It was mostly Germans when I was there, although British visitors are in fact the more numerous nationality at the diving centre throughout the year.
The centre is not only geared up (with all sizes of equipment) for children but it actively encourages them to participate. Many of the dive sites provide good experiences at all depths, currents are as common as pterodactyl poo and all the guides are experienced instructors (not divemasters).
There are some dives, however, that are definitely for the more experienced. Blue Canyon, for example, is best enjoyed as a deep-diving overhead environment experience. The canyon is a gully wide enough to take the gulet into, though only just. It ends in a submerged cavern, with a very large opening.
Inside, the walls are a profusion of tiny life, from sea squirts to dahlia anemones. It's a city of macro life, but be sure to take a torch to highlight the colours.
Some of the most colourful finds under water are the simplest. The black and white Discodoris are quite striking, but nowhere as impressive as the Echinaster sepositus or red starfish and the ubiquitous fireworm. Take a close look - although not too close, as they inflict a nasty sting - because they are absolutely stunning to look at and are found all over the region in abundance.
To get the delights out of the sea in Turkey, you do have to get down to a smaller level or search quite hard.
To get the delights out of Lykiaworld is a different matter. For a family holiday it is a superb resort with plenty for everyone to do. Whether you simply want to lie on a quiet beach or indulge in every activity with the entire family, you'll be pleasantly surprised.


The jetty at sunset.


The top of an amphora


Diver shows the size of this Punic amphora


an octopus jealously guards its snorkel-holder


featherstar on encrusting red sponge


Discodoris atromaculata


a large titan shell snail climbs from its rocky hiding place


a yellow cup coral colony in a cave


juvenile scorpionfish



FACTFILE

GETTING THERE: Onur Airlines and Excel Airlines fly to Dalaman from London Gatwick, or fly from Manchester, East Midlands, Newcastle and Glasgow.
DIVING & ACCOMMODATION: Lykiaworld (www.lykiaworld.com) is represented in the UK by several travel agents, or contact its UK office direct on 0870 224 5524.
WHEN TO GO: Spring/summer is the hottest and is peak tourist season, but you can dive all year round.
MONEY : Turkish Lira.
COST : Flights from£260. Seven nights at Lykiaworld, based on two adults and two children (children under 16 free) will cost from£1162 full-board. Dives are around£20.
FURTHER INFORMATION: www.gototurkey.co.uk