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Lycia :: Kas - Antiphellos

Kas - Antiphellos

One of the fastest expanding towns in the field of tourism is Ka§. As the town was established over the ancient city of Antiphellos. in Middle Lycia. there are not many ruins that remain above ground. An inscription found in Kas written in two languages definitively establishes the fact that the city lying under Kas is Antiphellos. However. the original name of ~ was Habesos or Habesa in the ancient to] of Lycia, whereas it was later given the n Antiphellos.

Antiphellos was a small settlement area it 4th century B.C. and was the harbor for Phellos, "' was situated just above it. However, near the sta the Hellenistic period, phellos contracted in : whereas Antiphellos grew in size and importa This situation continued through the Roman pe whereas cedar forest products and a flouris] sponge business brought in enormous riches 1< city, diminishing the dependency on Phellos.

On the rise was probably the city's acroI one can see fortifications on the side facing , Island (ancient 'Kastellorizon'). However remnants of these fortifications are to be seen 01 northern or western slopes. Ruins of a wall or shoreline can still be seen today. To the west 0 modern town, to the right of the road leading 0 Cukurbag Peninsula, stands the ancient theatl Antiphellos overlooking the sea. The fine mason this theater is quite attractive and was constructl local limestone. This Hellenistic theater, wh" remarkably intact today, once held 4,000 people sat in 26 seating rows. Its tribunes and outer , are still visible today, although no trace of the skene remains.

From the harbor, a path leads up to the and very soon brings the visitor to the ruins of a small temple on the left. Only the lower parts are preseJ to a maximum height of five layers of ashlar blocks; the blocks are slightly bossed and in some cases drafted edges. A vertical line, clearly distinguisl on the east side, where the blocks do not ove shows that the retaining wall was later extended or repaired. The original building dates back to the 1 st century B.C., the extension probably to the late third century A.D. The 450-meter breakwater, which belongs to the Hellenistic period, was used until recently, whereas it has lost its old condition through additions that have been made to it in later years.

Above the theater lies a house-type rock-tomb known as the Doric Tomb, and its form is unique. Cut from the sheer rock face in the shape of a slightly tapering cube some 4.5 m high by 4.5 m wide, with a passage all around, it stands complete apart from Modern structures and some damage at the top. There is a molding at the historical dwellings exist base and a shallow pilaster at each corner; all the side by side in Kas. capitals but one are lost. On the south side a band with mutules is preserved. The entrance, origir closed by a sliding door, has a molded frc surrounding an aperture 1.90 meters high. interior consists of a single chamber; the bench at back is decorated with a frieze of small dam figures holding hands, seventeen on the bench i and four on each return, and floral designs at sides. The tomb probably dates to the 4th century B.C.

In the hillside to the north of the town are a number of rock-tombs,some at least quite easily accessible.One of these is interesting as having an upper story of Gothic-arch form and a Lycian inscription to which has been added, centuries later, another in Latin when the tomb was re-used by a certain Claudia Recepta. Most of the tombs in Antiphellos, as elsewhere, are sarcophagi. In 1842, Spratt counted over a hundred, but the majority of these have been destroyed by the local inhabitants, who use the flat sides as building-stones; the curved lids, being less useful for this purpose, may often be seen lying alone.

One of these, however, is remarkable both for its elegant form and its excellent preservation. It stands at the upper end of Uzun Carsi Caddesi, amongst the carpet shops and consists of three parts. The hyposorium is about 1.5 meters high, with a sunken floor; the door is broken open. Above this is a plain base about 80 centimeters high, these two parts being cut from the solid rock. On top is the sarcophagus itself, cut from a separate piece of stone, with Gothic lid and crest; from each side of the lid project two lions' heads resting on the paws. The short end of the lid is divided into four panels; in the upper two are standing figures in relief. On the hyposorium is a long Lycian inscription, written in a form of the language that has only been found on the Xanthos Obelisk, which has yet to be deciphered. As it hasn't been deciphered yet, nobody knows who it belonged to, whereas the local people call it the King's Sarcophagus. In addition to the historical artifacts, ~ which is the closest point to Meis Island, is a comp natural paradise. Stretching out into the sea lill tongue, one can see all the modern hotel developm that has occurred on the Cukurbag Peninsula. , peninsula also has a three-kilometer long nat track. One can also relax in the sparkling clean Sill choice beaches such as Biiyiik Cakil, Kucuk Cakil Akcagerme, all within the town limits of Kas. addition, one can go out to ~yagzl Beach by sr motorboat. Of the six caves near Kas, the most famous ones are Guvercinlik Cave (for its pigeons), Deniz Cave on Asirli Island, and Mavi Cave, which is 18 kilometers outside of Kas. In the meanwhile, Kaputas Beach is just out of this world.

In addition to the abundance of history found around Kas, the town also offers numerous opportunities to take up sports in natural surroundings, such as trekking, mountain climbing and rafting. For those that wish to be left alone with nature, the natural choice is to check out Yesil Lake and Ucansunsu Waterfalls, both of which are found in Gombe. Gombe is at the bottom of Akdag, 70 kilometers outside Kas. .After the Kizlar Point, Akdag is the highest summit in the Western Taurus Mountains. The small lakes found here are nature's spellbinding parts. There is the ancient city of

Chomba in Gombe, where at a distance of 13 kilometers from here lies the ancient city of Nisa in Meryemlik, near Siitlegen. One can encounter tombs. an agora and ruins of a theater. The ancient town of Candyba is situated near the town.

A characteristic of Kas is that some of the nearby ruins can be reached on foot. For instance, the 12 kilometers on foot from Kas to Phellos would be a nice walkabout. The phellos ruins are just above the villages of Cukurbag and Pinarbasi.

One should not arrive in Kas without visiting Kekova. Just as one can get there from Kas by boat, you can also go overland to Ucagiz and row out from there. It is just not possible, to see this wonder of the world and not be amazed by the sunken city. Just as there are a number of sites near ~' such as Istlada, Apollonia, Isinda, Cyaenai, there are also several sites whose names ate unknown. As a consequence, it is possible to see artifacts on the side of the road or on the slopes of a mountain. For instance, there is an antique city in the village of Bayindir, seven kilometers outside Kas. On the slopes above Bayindir Harbor, which is ideal for yachts to drop anchor, one can encounter a number of sarcophagi, one of which is Lycian. There must have been a very small dty of antiquity here, the name of which is thought to have been Sebeda.

On the high ground to the west of Ka§ there are a number of ancient sites, though none of any great size. The most considerable is scattered about on the plateau of Seyret, overlooking a long valley down which a stream runs to join Felen River. The site, about 760 meters above sea-Ievel, occupies three small hilltops and has a wall of unbossed polygonal masonry of apparently early date; the whole is comparable in extent with the site at BaymdIr Harbor. Near the village of Sidek is a rocky eminence with a polygonal wall, an enormous Gothic sarcophagus, and a rock-tomb with a Lycian inscription.

Further to the north, above the scattered village of Hacloglan, on a hill about 600 meters above sea-Ievel on the north side of the stream, is a walled area some 15 meters in length, a fort rather than a city. On the slope towards the stream are three Lycian pillar -tombs; one of them has a diagonal slot in the upper surface, but not large enough for a grave. There is a town whose name is unknown, half an hour south of Baghca, near the village of <;ardakh, that has a fortress on the top of a hill. There is a small settlement known as Tysse on top of a low hill in the vicinity of the village of Tiise. Nearby, in a place called Aladam one can find a rather interesting Lycian tomb that has steps orilts upper part.The whole of this upland region, even in midsummer, is delightfully cool and green.

In the meanwhile, I'd like to acknowledge a debt of gratitIlde to the memory of the Late Prof. Dr. George Bean, who spent much of his life in Turkey wandering into every nook and cranny and who wrote a series of books concerning the ancient civilizations of Anatolia.


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