12.15.2008

Tombs and Pirates in Lycia

Continuing the Lycian theme, this is a site that few people bother to go to as it's accessible only by water. The ancient city of Simena is now largely submerged, but the tombs survive; a few rock-cut into the main hillside, many sarcophagi on the lower hills around it. As is clear in the sixth photo, many were looted in the pre-modern period by thieves looking for gold who smashed through their sides.
In the Byzantine period a castle was built around the acropolis, and acted as a naval fortress used in the fight against pirates, who had made the island of Kekova opposite their base. The fortress contains a few Roman remains such as columns from a temple and a small odeon. It continued in use well into the Ottoman period, and in modern Turkish the village is know as 'Castle Village' - Kaleköy.















































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