The Ancient City of Kaunos, Which is Famous for its Magnificent Rock Tombs

Kaunos Ancient City, one of the ancient cities in our country, is located in the district of Koycegiz in Mugla with its magnificence. Attracting the attention of those who are interested in cultural tourism, this ancient city stands out with its rock tombs. Located in the Village of Candir, the Ancient City of Kaunos can be visited by both sea and land. The Ancient City of Kaunos, known formerly as Calbys and now as Dalyan River, has also an interesting cultural structure in this respect.



Kaunos, which was a strategic port city due to the importance of maritime trade in the Ancient Age, lost its characteristic of being a port city over time since the sea was filled with alluvium. Despite this fact, the signs that maritime transportation and trade were once carried out here are even found out today. Having become popular with its magnificent rock tombs by the local and foreign tourists interested in different cultures, this ancient city has been reported to be a port city, the mouth of which could be closed, in its time. This city was founded by Kaunos and has an important place among the rock tombs dating back to the 4th century BC and the Lycian-style tombs made in the Roman Period.



Standing out as one of the well-developed port cities of that period, the Ancient City of Kaunos changed hands a number of times after Persians took over Anatolia. After the port was filled with alluvium, it lost its former strategic importance over time. Located on a wide geographical area stretching to a long city wall harbor and the steep cliffs in the north of Village of Dalyan, the Ancient City of Kaunos was founded on a 152-meter-high hill known as Acropolis. The theater founded at the foothill of the Acropolis hosted various performances at that time.



With 33 rows of seats, this theater is among the most developed cultural centers of its time. The basilica-like church in the west of the theater is also among the details making the ancient city of Kaunos interesting. As can be seen from its magnificent rock tombs, this ancient city, which was obviously a religious focal point of its time, continues to reflect history with its ruins of great importance. These tombs, the construction of which was unfinished and which were carved into the rocks, have survived until now in a good condition.



In the light of 3.000 years of data on the Ancient City of Kaunos, which is also included in the "History" of Herodotus, these rock tombs, still standing firmly, were found for the first time by the British Hoskyn in 1840. The people of Kaunos, who are known to be "green-faced", in other words, "sick" according to the legends, are recorded as a community who fought with malaria throughout history. These local people, who are said to live as long as the leaves do, are known for their well-developed urban structure and historical artifacts today.

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  • Christopher D. Gwynn
  • 31-08-2021

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