Main Page


Ruins of Bubon are in a locality called Dikmen Tepe, near the village of Ibecik in the Gölhisar district of Burdur. It is one of the cities of the Kibyratis Tetrapolis. After the Tetrapolis army was defeated by Rome, Bubon joined the Lycian League together with Kibyra, Oinoanda and Balboura. It is located on the northwest border of Lycia. An inscription found in the theater is a copy of the letter from the Roman Emperor Commodus, honouring the people of Bubon for their success against the bandit raids along the border by increasing their number of votes in the Lycian League from two to three. Although it was a small city, due to its strategic location, it gained equal voting rights with the largest and privileged cities of the Lycian League such as Patara and Xanthos.
T. A. B. Spratt and E. Forbes were the first to mention Bubon in modern period after visiting the the site in 1842. Today, it seems very difficult to identify structures among the highly damaged remains other than the acropolis fortification walls, agora, sebasteion, theater and tombs. Illegal excavations have also highly contributed to the destruction. In the subsequent years, apart from a salvage excavation for the sebasteion (see below), no scientific excavations were carried out.

Click on the pictures for larger images.

Bubon is located on the hill called Dikmen Tepe. Bubon theater Bubon theater Commodus letter.

Sebasteion of Bubon
Investigations about the source of some bronze statues that emerged in the American and Swiss antique art market in the 1960s indicated that they were smuggled abroad as a result of illegal excavations in Bubon in the 1960s. In 1990, a salvage excavation carried out by Jale Inan in the Bubon sebasteion revealed that the majority of these bronze statues were removed from the sebasteion structure. According to the inscriptions on the statue bases found inside the building, this small sebasteion was housing about a dozen bronze statues of Roman emperors and empresses. The statues with very high quality craftsmanship are made in real human dimensions. Such a well preserved Roman Imperial cult sanctuary is unique in the archaeological records. The sebasteion was built during the reign of Emperor Nero in the first half of the 1st century CE and was used for about 200 years until the middle of the 3rd century CE by adding new emperor statues over time. It is thought that some of the statues were later removed and replaced (due to damnatio memoriae) and some others were relocated. A few of the statues, most of which were smuggled abroad, were brought back to Türkiye and are on display in Burdur Museum.

Sebasteion of Bubon after the excavation in 1990. Sebasteion of Bubon after the excavation in 1990. Excavation team workers stand on pedestals for representing the statues. Sebasteion of Bubon in 2009. Sebasteion of Bubon in 2022. Headless statue of Septimius Severus is repatriated to Turkiye in 2023. Head of Septimius Severus is in Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen Statue of Lucius Verus is repatriated to Türkiye in 2022. Headless Statue of Marcus Aurelius is in Cleveland Museum of Art. Headless statue, thought to be Valerianus, is in Burdur Museum. The whereabouts of the statue, thought to be Caracalla, is unknown. Head of Caracalla is repatriated to Türkiye in 2023. Head of young Caracalla, thought to be from Bubon, is repatriated to Türkiye in 2023. The bronze statue so-called Houston Bronze Spearbearer is in the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. A bronze statue, also thought to be from Bubon, is in Antikenmuseum Basel.

Çevik, N. 2021. Lykia Kitabı: Arkeolojisi, Tarihi ve Kültürüyle Batı Antalya, Türk Tarih Kurumu, Ankara.
Hülden, O. 2021. Bubon und sein Umland. Eine Nachlese, Mit Beiträgen von J. Gebauer & K. Kugler, Einzelstudien des Kibyratis-Projekts 1, Gerda Henkel Stiftung Digital Edition
Kokkinia, C. 2008 'Boubon: The Inscriptions and Archaeological Remains. A Survey 2004-2006', Meletemata 60, Athens.
İnan, J. 1977/78. 'Der Bronzetorso im Burdur-Museum aus Bubon und der Bronzekopf im J.Paul Getty Museum', Istanbuler Mitteilungen 27/28, 267-287.
İnan, J. 1993. 'Neue Forschungen zum Sebasteion von Boubon und seinen Statuen', in Akten des II. Int. Lykien-Symposions, eds. J. Borchardt & G. Dobesch, 213-239, Wien.
İnan, J. 1994. Boubon sebasteionu ve heykelleri üzerine son araştırmalar, Kazı Monografileri Dizisi 2, İstanbul.
Gliwitzky-Moser, Y. 2009. 'Die Rekonstruktion des Nordpostaments im Sebasteion von Bubon (Lykien). Ein Korrekturvorschlag', Boreas 32, 115-119.
Lubos, M. 2016. 'Bubon Bronzes - New Perspectives', Proceedings of the XVIIth International Congress on Ancient Bronzes, Monographies Instrumentum 52, 265-273.

Image sources:
iDAI Arachne ID:1145406
Indianapolis Museum of Art Exhibition Catalogue, 1974
J. İnan, 1993
J, İnan, 1994
Cleveland Museum of Art
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Fordham Museum of Greek, Etruscan and Roman Art
Antikenmuseum Basel
Atlas Dergisi, Oct 2000
Kürşad Türkeli, 2009.
Carole Raddato, 2013.
O. Hülden, 2021
Burdur Yenigün Gazetesi, 2022.
Tayfun Bilgin, 2022
Bora Bilgin, 2023

Copyright © Bora Bilgin (

Pictures taken by me or my associates (Bilgin, Anıl, Özer) can be used for non-commercial and academic
purposes with a reference to this website (contact me for higher resolution images or for any other question).
Citation: Bora Bilgin,