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Lycia :: Arycanda


The site of the ancient settlement is located near a small hamlet callled Aykirickay, in the district of Arif, on the Elmali - Finike Road.

We know this city went by the name Anna and was an Anatolian town around 2000 B.C. However, through ancient works that have survived to this day, we are able take the existence of Arycanda as far back as the 5th century B.C. Like all the other Lycian cities, Arycanda, the name of is locally derived, was invaded by the Persians 5th century B.C. It was annexed by Alexand Great in 333 B.C. It remained under the rule Ptolemic Dynasty on his death, and was then tal Antiochus III in 197 B.C. It was annexed to R as a result of the Apemaia Treaty and form independent league together with the other cities of Lycia, minting coins as a member of this league. The league lasted unti143 A.D., when it was disbanded Emperor Claudius, whereas Arycanda was annexed Rome, along with the rest of the region. It survived through the Byzantine era, when it became known as Acalanda, until the 9th century, when the settlement moved to a new site south of the modern road.

The site is extensive, stretching fro source of Aykiricay Springs to the slopes Sahinkaya, where it rises in terraces, densely - packed against the rock face. A stadium with one face can be seen on the uppermost terrace. Niches have exposed behind the stadium's seating rows. terrace that comes down from this stadium to the terrace below contains a well-preserved theater, with a small auditorium that rests on the natural slope hill. This structure, which had a Greek plan, was built in the Roman period. Greek inscription friezes can be seen lining the top two terraces of the 20-row auditorium.

On the terrace below rests the odeion Arycanda, which was uncovered during excavations led by the Turkish archaeologist, Prof. Cevdet Bayburtluoglu, who has been uncovering new artifacts every year. The odeion was exposed in 1978, whereas a section of it has been restored.

The main entrance to the ode ion is to the south, through a triple portal. The interior was lined with orthosats, whereas it is understood that the walls used to be covered in colored marble. A frieze comprising of large blocks sits one meter above the outside face of the portals. Depictions of masks or gods are found in the center of each block. At the same time. a portrait of Hadrian is in the exact center of this frieze.

Behind the odeion are two opposing pc whereas these portals opened out onto the leading in front of the terrace wall of the theater i eastern section. The west portal. opens ont stepped way leading around the agora of the 1 The odeion portico. which measures 75 x 8 meters decorated with floor mosaics.

This portico turns back to the agora in a U-shape. Only a few of the shops in the eastern part of the agora can be made out today. On this flatland, which is embellished with a single tree, lies the remains of what was once Arycanda's state agora and in the vicinity where the tree is a structure that was most probably the agora shrine.

To the west of the theater and the agora on the upper terrace lies ruins of the bouleuterion, or what we would refer to today as the city hall, the tribunes of which are carved out of the rock face. A long stoa stretches beyond the front of this structure, whereas the site in front of the stoa is a cistern.

Between the bouleuterion and the agora is a small mined bath and fountain, whereas the remains of a larger bath are found below the agora. From the surviving sections of the baths, it is plain that the eastern section was used as a terrace for it has an extraordinary view: Next to the baths stands a gymnasium, and to the west of that lies a house bearing inscriptions.

The necropolis on Arycanda's east side stretches over the terraces above the bath, while that on the west side stretches from the source of the Aykiricay all the way to the cliffs just west of the city. The first structure one encounters in the necropolis on the east side is a mausoleum in the form of a temple with a podium. This mausoleum, with its 'in antis' plan and Corinthian order has left many people quite surprised, as they have made this structure out to be a temple. A lion-figured relief decorates the facade, whereas an inscription on the tomb gives the name of the owner. The necropolis also contains a number of vaulted tombs and sarcophagi. The structure that sits to the east of the bath and the dwelling wil inscription is most probably a heroum.

One encounters just a few rock tom Arycanda, whereas most of these are located near the Aykiricay Springs. Besides the rock tombs, her can also see some rather interesting aqueduct1 have been carved out of the rocks. We ascertained from these aqueducts that Aryc obtained its water from the Basgoz Springs. The aqueducts were connected to two large cisterns j to the west of the gymnasium. You can tal incredible photograph of all these ruins from the top of the surrounding mountains.


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