Kibyra

Kibyra is located 110 km southwest of Burdur, near the town of Gölhisar. The name Kibyra is not Greek. Although it is thought to be of Luwian origin, its meaning is unknown. It is the last city in the north of the Lycian road route shown in the Patara Road Monument. Kibyra is not a city with a Lycian culture. It is located at the intersection of Pisidian, Carian, Lydian and Phrygian cultural zones. Strabo writes that the Kibyrans were of Lydian origin and that the Greek, Lydian, Pisidian and Solymian languages were spoken in the city. In the 2nd century BCE, while the region was under the rule of the Kingdom of Pergamon, a tetrapolis was established with Boubon, Balboura and Oinoanda under the leadership of the city of Kibyra. While the region was called Kabalia before, it was mentioned as the Kibyratis Region since the Hellenistic and Roman Periods. After the army of the tetrapolis was defeated by Rome, in 81 BCE, cities other than Kibyra were included in the Lycian League. Kibyra, which was further north, joined the Roman province Asia. Although its exact date is not known, Kibyra was also included in the Lycian League in a later period. The city lost its strength after the earthquake in 417 CE. Travelers Spratt and Forbes were the first to visit the city in the modern era in 1842. After the partial excavations in 1988-89 and 2001-02, regular excavations started in 2006.
Although there are findings dating back to the late Chalcolithic period around the city of Kibyra, the oldest of the building remains in the city can only be traced back to the Hellenistic period. Most of the visible remains today belong to the Roman period and later. The stadium with a capacity of 10 thousand people, the theater building and the odeon/bouleuterion building draw the most attention. The bouleuterion building was also used as a covered theater (theatrum tectum). It is the best preserved example in Lycia. In particular, the mosaic with the Medusa picture made of colored marbles on the orchestra floor is remarkable.

Theater
Bouleuterion/Odeon of Kibyra
Nymphaeum of Kibyra
Main Street
Stadium
Eastern Necropolis of Kibyra

The friezes depicting gladiator fights on the graves found on the necropolis road to the east of the stadium show that the Kibyra stadium was used not only for athletics competitions, but also for gladiator fights. The scenes show gladiators in various actions including training, arena fight, and animal combat. All the friezes are exhibited in Burdur Museum.


References:

Çevik, N. 2021. Lykia Kitabı: Arkeolojisi, Tarihi ve Kültürüyle Batı Antalya, Türk Tarih Kurumu, Ankara.
Dökü F. E. & Ş. Özüdoğru. 2009. ‘Ticaret Yollarının Kavşağındaki Kent Kibyra’. in III. Ulusal Mimarlık ve Taş Sempozyumu 20 – 21 Kasım 2009, Antalya, 51-55.
Özüdoğru, Ş. 2020. Kibyra – Kibyra Maior / Caesarea Cibyra, Arkeoloji ve Sanat Yayınları, İstanbul.
Spratt, T. A. B. & E. Forbes. 1847. Travels in Lycia, Milyas and Cibyratis, London.

Image sources:
T. A. B. Forbes & E. Forbes, 1847
Burdur Valiliği, 2022
Reha Özer, 2022
Bora Bilgin, 2022, 2024
Tayfun Bilgin, 2022, 2024