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Kaunos, an ancient site to discover

on 21/05/2012

In the Mediterranean Turkey, near the pretty town of Dalyan is the magnificent ancient site of Kaunos, a significant city in the past and is easily accessible on foot or by motor-boat.
Its existence dates back to the IX century BC but it was in 540 BC that this city is at the heart of the history of the region as part of an expedition led by the cleric Harpagos against Caria and Lycia, two important neighboring territories.
Kaunos will have an important place during the Christian period in the then Eastern Roman Empire during which she joined the Lycian church until the middle of the medieval period.
During its heyday, the town has two ports, one for trade in goods and slaves, the other for military use. At the end of the Byzantine period, the harbor is silting up and rocking the whole economy.

Today the remains to be discovered there are many. The Roman theater of 5,000 seats occupied today by goats is well preserved and the view from the top is beautiful.
The ruins of the domed church, Byzantine construction, are splendid mosaics unearthed in the excavations conducted since 1967 by Turkish archaeologists in collaboration with Başkent University in Ankara.

A stone stairway provides access to a broad platform on which you can admire the remains of a temple built in honor of Zeus Soteros.

Down below, near the port agora, a Roman nymph dedicated to the Emperor Vespasian was discovered in 1969 and is being restored for him to regain its original configuration.

The Roman baths are also worth a visit as there are various ruins scattered amid the opulent vegetation gives a view of a pastoral site.

The successive rulers of Kaunos are buried in the Lycian tombs carved into the rock on the north bank of the Dalyan River.


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