Dalyan Kaunos

DALYAN KAUNOS;

80 km away from Marmaris, Kaunos was a city of ancient Caria and in Anatolia, a few km west of the modern town of Dalyan, Muğla Province, Turkey.

Kaunos was an important sea port, the history of which is supposed to date back till the 10th century BC. Because of the formation of İztuzu Beach and the silting of the former Bay of Dalyan, Kaunos is now located about 8 km from the coast. The city had two ports, the southern port at the southeast of Küçük Kale and the inner port at its northwest (the present Sülüklü Göl, Lake of the Leeches). The southern port was used from the foundation of the city till roughly the end of the Hellenistic era, after which it became inaccessible due to its drying out. The inner or trade port could be closed by chains. The latter was used till the late days of Kaunos, but due to the silting of the delta and the ports, Kaunos had by then long lost its important function as a trade port. After Caria had been captured by Turkish tribes and the serious malaria epidemic of the 15th century AD, Kaunos was completely abandoned.

Six rock tombs on the Dalyan river (4th - 2nd century BC), which are Dalyan's prime sight

The façades of the rock tombs resemble the fronts of Hellenistic temples with two Ionian pillars, a triangular pediment, an architrave with toothed friezes, andacroterions shaped like palm leaves.

The niche tombs at the port of Çandır

Kaunos is surrounded by ancient necropoli, because the ancient Greeks and Romans always buried their deceased at considerable distance from their homes. The niche tombs were the most common ones. The ashes of the deceased were put in urns and then placed in a niche. At the port of Çandır, some km beyond the archeological site of Kaunos, there are tens of niche tombs hewn from the rock of Kızıltepe.

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