Kitanaura is near the village of Saraycık, 42 km north of Kumluca district of Antalya. The ruins were first discovered by Spratt and Forbes in 1842. Although different suggestions were made, such as Apollonia and Marmara, identity of the ruins could not be determined for about 150 years. In the 1990s, the location of Kitanaura was confirmed by the discovery of both the coins belonging to the city of Kitanaura and the Patara Road Monument. The name of the city is mentioned as “Kitanaura of Termessos” in the Patara Road Monument. The first detailed survey of the city was carried out in 2006.
The western and eastern sides of the acropolis, which was established on a hill with an altitude of 1300 m, are surrounded by steep cliffs. The main entrance is in the southwest. Especially the two-tiered city walls on the south side are better preserved. The existing walls were built in the Hellenistic Period and renovated in the later periods. All of the building remains seen today in the city, which has not been excavated yet, belong to the Roman and later periods. The best preserved building is the bath-gymnasion which is dated to the 2nd century CE. Among the many tombs in the necropolis to the south and west of the acropolis, the most striking one is the monumental Heroon.

Heroon of Kitanaura

The monument has a temple formed design which reminds the Perikles Heroon in Limyra. The base of the rectangular building measures 8.35 x 7.2 m. It is by the road to the acropolis and the entrance of the tomb faces the acropolis in the east. The ceiling of the building collapsed and the sarcophagus inside was demolished. The long north wall and back wall are still standing. The long south wall was demolished in the 1990s during the construction of the modern road passing by the monument. Symbols of weapons, horses, helmets, etc. on the reliefs on the outer façades of the walls in a row of friezes may represent the military role and heroism of the tomb owner. According to the inscription found on the tomb façade, Trokondas, son of Trokondas, grandson of Atteous, had it built for himself. The monument is dated to a time between the 1st century BCE and the 1st century CE.


Çevik, N. 2008. ‘Northeast Lycia. The New Evidence – The Results from the past ten years from the Bey Mountains Surface Surveys’, Adalya 11, 189–233.
Çevik, N. & I. Pimouget Pédarros. 2013. ‘Kelbessos et Kithanaura sur la territorie de Termessos de Psidia’, Anatolie des peuplesi cites et cultures, 273-288.
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Petersen, E. & F. Von Luschan. 1889. Reisen in Lykien Milyas und Kibyratis. Reisen im Südwestlischen Kleinasien II, Vienna.

Image sources:
E. Petersen & F. Von Luschan, 1889
N. Çevik & I. Pimouget-Pédarros, 2013
Ertuğrul Anıl, 2023
Bora Bilgin, 2023
Tayfun Bilgin, 2023