The existence of the ruins of Caunos was first discovered in the year 1842, and excavations have been carried on there by the Turkish archaeologists under the supervision of Prof. Baki Ogun since 1967.
Caunos, the son of Miletos, had been indicated as the founder of the city and therefore, it had been named Caunos. The city was first captured by the Persians and then by Alexander and in the year 189 B.C., it was made subject to the Kingdom of Rhodes. We know that it continued until the year 167 B.C. Caunos was subjected to the kingdom of Pergamon and was brought directly under the sovereignty of Rome after 133 B.C. You reach the site of the ruins by means of channel adorned with Lycian type tombs belonging to the 4th century B.C. The first place that we see is the acropolis of Caunos. The northern part of the city wall, which surrounds the acropolis, belongs to the period of Mausolos. The northwestern part has Hellenistic qualities. And starting from the harbour are seen the city walls of Cyclopean type belonging to the Archaic Period.
The theatre belonging to the Roman Period is located at the skirt of the acropolis and its southern part is carved in the rock; the other parts are shaped into seats supported by gable roof vaults. There are 33 rows of seats, the scene has collapsed and the part of the orchestra has been filled in.
A temple, revealed by the recent excavations, is located at the far west of the theatre, and a church and the magnificent walls of the Roman Bath are visible beyond it. Another temple belonging to the Roman Period is located behind the bath. As we go downwards, we see the remains of a wall built in the shape of three-fourths of a circle with a row of columns on it and, behind it, a temple of the Doric order.
The locality called Suluklu Gol (Lake of Leeches) in Caunos today was a harbour closed by means of chains during the Antique Period. The excavations performed at the north of this harbour have revealed a stoa which used to form a part of the port agora.
The fountain near the stoa has a plan of inantis style and has been restored recently, and the inscription which is seen on its side facing the harbour contains the written decrees concerning the customs house.