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Olympos  

It is a port city located on the west coast of the Gulf of Antalya, 16 km south of Phaselis. The Olympos River, which reaches the sea by forming a deep valley, passes through the middle of the city. Although the foundation date of Olympos is unknown, the Lycian League coins minted in the name of the city suggest a date in the Hellenistic Period. It is likely that it was founded as a Doric colony like Phaselis. During the Roman period, Olympos was one of the six cities of the Lycian League with 3 voting rights and was the only Eastern Lycian city with this privilege. However, during the first quarter of the 1st century BCE, it was excluded from the Lycian League along with Phaselis due to the piracy activities led by Zeniketes of Olympos. After the end of the piracy activities, it became a member of the Lycian League again during the Roman Imperial Period.
The name of Olympos does appear neither on the Patara Road Monument nor the Stadiasmus Maris Magni which shows the Roman Time Mediterranean Ports. On the other hand, both texts mention the city of Korykos, whose exact localization is unknown, in the same region. Researchers suggest that the city of Olympos that we know today was actually built on the near by Mount Musa in the Hellenistic Period and that the coastal settlement we call Olympos today was established as a port city under the name of Korykos. According to Mustafa Adak, after the port city grew and the mountain settlement lost its importance, the name of Korykos was changed to Olympos.
Like all Eastern Lycian cities, Olympos is culturally not Lycian. The hundreds of inscriptions recovered in and around the city are all in Greek. There are no Lycian style rock tombs in Olympos. The only exceptions in the region are two Lycian style rock tombs found in Asartaş. All of the structures seen in the city today belong to the Roman and Byzantine Periods, except for a few Hellenistic Period walls. Olympos is also one of the cities in Anatolia where the remains of the Early Christian Period can be strongly observed. The famous clergyman Methodios, who was killed in Syria during the time of Diocletian, was from Olympos and was the first bishop of both the city and Lycia.
The first excavations in the ancient city of Olympos, which was first discovered by Francis Beaufort in 1811, were carried out by the Antalya Museum in 1991-92. The regular surveys and excavations were started by Anadolu University in 2000 and is still in progress.

Click on the pictures for larger images.

North necropolis street North necropolis street Bishop's palace and the Roman temple at the back. The Roman temple in Ionic order is dated to 2nd century CE. The only remaining part of the temple is the cella walls with the gate. The water channel The monumental tomb of Lyciarch Marcus Aurelius Archepolis The Sidamara style sarcophagus, which once stood in the middle, is now in the Antalya museum. According to the inscription, the sarcophagus is built by Antimachos, who is also called Kallikrates, son of Trebemis, for himself, his two wives, his children and their descendants. The Antimachos sarcophagus with Lycian style lid is dated to 2nd century CE. The sarcophagus of Captain Eudomos in the Harbour necropolis. Tombs in the south necropolis Tombs in the south necropolis West gate of the theater, from outside. West gate of the theater, from inside. Only the top few rows of seats in the theater remain. Only one abutment in the middle of the river remains from the three-arched Roman bridge. The view of Olympos river bed from the southern landing of the bridge. The acropol hill and the castle is at the backward. The paved street connecting the bridge to the southern city. The monumental sized Vespasianus Bath built by Titus Aurelius
Quietus, the governor of Lycia and Pamphylia, in 78 CE. It's the oldest dated building in the city.




References:
Adak, M. 2004. 'Lokalisierung von Olympos und Korykos in Ostlykien', Gephyra 1, 27-51.
Adak, M., & N. Tüner. 2004. 'Neue Inschriften aus Olympos und seinem Territorium I.' Gephyra 1, 53-65.
Olcay-Uçkan, B. Y. & G. K. Öztaşkın. 2016. 'Olympos: The City Sanctified with Water and Fire', in From Lukka to Lycia: The Land of Sarpedon and St. Nicholas, eds. H. İşkan & E. Dündar, 274-287, İstanbul.
Olcay-Uçkan, B. Y. 2017. 'Olympos', in The Archaeology of Byzantine Anatolia, ed. P. Niewöhner, 291-293.

Image sources:
Carole Raddato, 2013
B. Y. Olcay-Uçkan, 2017
Bora Bilgin, 2022, 2023


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