Dalyan & Kaunos Tour

Welcome to Dalyan & Kaunos Tour

The property within boundaries of District of Koycegiz is located in the face of Dalyan City and on the right shores of Dalyan Stream (Calbis) which connect Koycegiz Lake to Mediterranean. It was the capital of the ‘Kaunos Region’ between the Caria and Lycia until the beginning of the 4th BC. The existence of Kaunos had known by the scholars but its location was a mystery until English archaeologist Hoskyn discovered it in 1842. Swedish archaeologist P. Roos defined the independent state boundaries of Kaunos as follows: “Starting from the Fethiye Bay at the north and Ancient City of Krya at the north of the bay; extending till Tlos at the 35 km east of Fethiye, Idyma at Gokova Bay at the west and Çamkoy located in the west of Urla which is little forward to north.” In today’s context, the coastal area starting from the south plains of Mugla and extending till the mountains between Mugla and Antalya was under the sovereignty of Kaunos. Kaunos has kept this borders until the 4th century BC but then lost its statue of sovereign state after the Persian invasion. It was one of two cities resisting against Persian invasion (other is Xanthos) such that they paid high taxes to prevailing states many times in order to keep their independency as a port city. Kaunos was mentioned as Ksibde in Lycian scripts, while as Kbid in the scripts of other surrounding cities. Life style and language of Kaunos people share similarities with Carian people except five letters in their alphabet are not seen in latter which makes Kaunos language is unique to them. Heredot reveals in this respect that “There is Carian influence in their language or their influence in Carian language. This is an issue which I couldn’t clarify.” In fact, epigraphic materials in Carian language are found mostly in Kaunos today. Kaunosian could not be understood until very recently just because Carian language was not decoded. However, by virtue of a stela written in Greek and Carian, it has been possible to unravel Carian language and a little of Kaunosian due to Greek language had already been known. Kaunos was an important sea port city with two ports; one is in the south at the southeast of Küçük Kale (Small Castle) and the inner port at its northwest, the present Sülüklü Göl (the 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 latter was used till the late days of Kaunos, but due to the silting of the delta and the ports, Kaunos had by then lost its important function as a trade port and started becoming poor. After Caria had been captured by Turkish tribes and the serious malaria epidemic of the 15th century AD, Kaunos was completely abandoned. The city was constructed on terraces; significant religious structures like Baselius Kaunios Temple, Apollon Sanctuary and Demeter Sacred Rocks on one side and Bath, Theatre and other structures including Palaestra on a large terrace which is called Upper City on the other. The monumental terrace on which the Upper City situated connects Baliklar Mountain with the Acropolis by extending the city into Mediterranean like a tongue and naturally creating a second harbour basin in the east. In many places in the ancient city, it has been found stone cutlery and arrowheads from Palaeolithic era. The finding and remains in Kaunos reveal the prosperity of the city as a great power of its time and that it was a sovereign state which minted on its behalf. The coins printed in this region especially in the first half of the 5th century BC are of great importance since a winged figure is displayed on the front side while pyramidal formed monoliths on the back. Besides, letters of K and B found on the coins are important due to they are the first two letters of the first name of Kaunos, Kbid. The oldest find at the Kaunos archaeological site is the neck of a Protogeometric amphora dating back to the 9th century BC, or even earlier. A statue found at the western gate of the city walls, pieces of imported Attic ceramics and the South – Southeast oriented city walls show habitation in the 6th century BC. Although none of the architectural finds at Kaunos itself dates back to earlier than the 4th century BC, history of Kaunos is believed much earlier than that. Because of the paleogeographic formation of Dalyan Delta and the silting of the former Bay of Dalyan (from approx. 200 BC onwards), Kaunos is now located about 8 km from the coast.