Home Page Issues Publishing Principles Order Form Links Contact Türkçe
Detailed Search  
Click here to visit web site of anakkale Ceramics
If you would like to get announcement mails about Akmed activities, please subcribe to our mailling list.
First name:
Last name:


A Settlement in Lycia: Danözü / Kastabara
Nevzat ÇEVİK*
F. Fatih GÜLŞEN****

The way from Kemer near Fethiye to the settlement of Darıözü consists of a 32 kilometers long road, which branches north before the Tlos exit and passes Kayacık and Deresapağı through a forested area. Then, via a mountainous and wooded path, one can reach the Dereköy village, also called Darıözü, in about two hours. From the Karamuar quarter, the farthest point a motor vehicle can reach, one has to walk for an hour to reach the Deliktaş hill, where the ancient settlement lies. Some remains from the Deliktaş settlement, which was discovered for the first time in 1898 by Heberdey, were published by E. Kalinka in 1944.

Darıözü, which is situated on the ancient road leading from Tlos eastwards to Rough Lycia, is the most important settlement on the long Akdağlar pass between Tlos and Choma. The information obtained from the miliarium - or 'milestone' or 'Stadiasmus' - that serves as a road guide to the Province of Lycia, shows that the only town between Tlos and Choma was called Kastabara. The distance of 32 m from Tlos to Darıözü is confirmed by the Miliarium Patarensis, where the distance between Tlos - Kastabara is given as 128 stadia (24 km). A difference of 8 km between the ancient road and the present one can be considered usual, once one understands that the ancient road benefited from some shortcuts. The most convincing proposition is that the remains in Darıözü should be identified with the settlement of Kastabara. Inscriptions showing organic ties between Tlos and this settlement support this proposition. The most noteworthy inscription is on the sarcophagus lid that belongs to the most monumental tomb to be found in the settlement. This inscription states that the grave belonged to the son of a Tloan citizen. This inscription dated to the 2nd century AD suggests that Kastabara was ruled by one of the most important families of Tlos. Our surveys covering the whole region made it possible to highlight that in this direction Darıözü was the biggest frontier stronghold of Tlos; they also enabled us to define the borders of the region under Tlos' hegemony. We think that its powerful neighbours such as Telmessos, Pınara and Xanthos, the capital, have managed to weaken Tlos' hold on all the areas along the Xanthos Valley, and that Tlos had therefore acquired a larger degree of control in the mountains. On the other hand, as Tlos held the plains to the east of the Xanthos Valley and because of its vast rough terrain in comparison to its seaside neighbours, its economy became multivalent and therefore richer. The reason why Tlos had far more ties with garrisons and semi-garrisons such as Zından, Erikli, and Köristan was that the area under its control was large and its geographical conditions were, as shown by Kastabara, very demanding.

The acropolis is situated on the prolongation of the southeast summit of Deliktaş, which stretches in the southeast-northwest direction. The deep, abrupt and sheer cliff of Karadere limits the extent of the long western side. Its east side dominates the entire valley and the Pırnaz / Fırnaz pasture to the south. The surrounding area and the scarce arable resources as well as meadows and water sources are under the control of the acropolis. The tower, as well as the walls along the hill, are carefully constructed, quite protected and mostly are still standing. As expected from a garrison, the site is protected with a fortress reinforced with a single tower which offered a warning pre-defence system. All of the towers found in the settlement are two-storied. All the second floors of these towers have consoles belonging to the second floors. Especially some support holes for wooden beams set into the stonework in tower II in the north give us a clue about the transition to the second floor. The empty area between the southernmost tower and the tower in the middle is filled by a huge staircase that leads to the terraces of the acropolis. Three towers built on the same line, which are identical in dimensions, form and masonry, constitute the monumental façade of the fortress.

The entire eastern façade of the central settlement is still standing to a great extent. Three towers provide a splendid view from the front and constitute at the same time the acropolis' terrace. The fact that the eastern façade was constructed with so little distance between the towers is due not only to a defence strategy but also to the aim to provide a monumental appearance to the fortified settlement. The eastern and northern faces of the fortress, both of which are standing, as well as the remaining half of the southern wall are built with bossed blocks in pseudo-isodomic masonry. Between towers II and III is a 3.60m wide and 6.35 m long passage. It is understood that the terrace of the fortress was reached through 16 steps that fill the whole aperture and that the main entrance of the castle was at this point. In the Byzantine period, this entrance was restored according to its initial form.

From Lycia and the neighbouring cultures, towers and walls similar to these in technique and masonry are known. Such towers are found in the form of defence towers as part of the city walls, watchtowers outside the settlements and as part of fortified farms that are called 'tower farms', which were built with same aim of defence. Although there are no significant technical differences between these three main types of tower, there are some points where they differ. Around the cities, in the farms connected to the city wall, they stand independently and the dimensions and number of rooms can be higher. The number of floors, the masonry and the thickness of the walls differ from one tower to another. Examples comparable in form and workmanship to the Darıözü towers, that are still standing, are to be found in Lycian fortified farms. The same is valid for Cilicia. As for Pamphylia, in addition to those built within the fortified farms, there are also defence towers pertaining to the city walls. Some features to be seen in the towers at our site have exact parallels with those in Beymelek, Myra, Andriake and Oinoanda in Lycia, such as roughly bossed or slightly bulging faces of towers built with the pseudo-isodomic technique, the fact that they are framed, the narrow blocks inserted in between to accentuate visually, and the fact that through narrow and long blocks the joining lines of the floors are stressed. All these examples have been dated to the Hellenistic period. The use of regular large blocks on the exterior sides of the walls and small and amorphous stones as well as a poor-quality workmanship in the mortared interior sides was very usual in thick walled structures constructed throughout Antiquity. These characteristics are especially to be observed as a common feature of Hellenistic Lycian architecture. The fact that the windows are on the second floor reminds us of typical tower-farm examples. This is a defence measure. In the Lycian examples, it is rare for a second floor window to be just above the entrance, however, this feature is well-established elsewhere. The particular workmanship and the polygonal masonry distinguish tower IV that stands independently of the other towers. Like its Lycian counterparts, it is built with stones rougher and more amorphous than those used in the towers of the Classical period. It is completed, in conformity with the polygonal masonry technique of the Hellenistic period, by filling the holes between the large stones with small irregular stones. This practice is due to the poor quality of the course connections between the larger blocks. On the other hand, the bossing on the block surfaces resembles those of the Hellenistic period, left rough and cambered, rather than the hammered masonry surfaces of the Classical period. The closest examples are the city walls and tower at Pydna and at Kadyanda. There is still an unanswered question concerning the early Hellenistic phase of this settlement, which is dated to the Hellenistic period with all its characteristics and continued to be inhabited after some repair work all the way through the Roman period: All the graves to be seen date from the Roman period, most being from the 3rd century AD. It has not been possible to identify where the dead from the Hellenistic period were buried.

The ancient route climbing up the Fırnaz plateau was the only link to the outside of the settlement. The path went down by the acropolis and up to Fırnaz and crossed Karadere over a wooden bridge, the piers of which rested on two massive rocks, as it is the case today. The road is still in use and, in spite of some repairs, it is the same as it was in ancient times. On the way, there are some small niches with relief carvings on the rocks.

Eren Tepe and environs: Eren, which can be reached by climbing approximately 3 hours long from the Kastabara acropolis in the northwest direction, is the highest peak in the western portion of Akdağlar. It overlooks the entire valley of Xanthos and the territory of Tlos. This is why this point was chosen for observation purposes. It is one of the most important rings in the communication chain of Tlos' hegemony. It connects Tlos, the dominant power in Lycia, to Girdev, Choma and the Lycian pastures via Kastabara being its strongest garrison in the region. Between Erentepe and the Kastabara acropolis, some farms have been discovered.

Necropolis: Although there are all around Darıözü as well as in the farms outside the settlement independent single sarcophagi, the main necropolis is situated to the east of the acropolis on a lower rocky hill. The sarcophagi are lined along the road beginning in Kumarözü and, in the last part of the valley, arriving at the acropolis; there are also some sarcophagi on the hillsides overlooking the valley. Due to the rocky surface, they are arranged evenly with slightly changing altitudes and distances between each other. The reason why the hillside was chosen for the sarcophagi is that it is the best place to face the acropolis and is situated on the side of the road leading from Karamuar to the acropolis. The front sides of all of these sarcophagi face the acropolis. The streams running down from the top of the hill have covered the paths between the sarcophagi and small fragments of them to a large extent or have dragged them into the valley. Among 8 sarcophagi mostly broken into pieces and dispersed, 3 are nearly intact. There are also some fragments belonging to other tombs. If all these fragments are taken into consideration as well as the lids without the chests, it is obvious that the total number of the sarcophagi must have been higher. The Darıözü sarcophagi are composed of a plain chest, a stepped podium and a Lycian type lid. Except for three examples with tabula ansata, there is no decoration. With these characteristics, these sarcophagi conform to the unpretentious simplicity that is usually found in the Lycian examples.

In and around the settlement there were found 9 sarcophagi and 2 chamosorion (rock-cut sarcophagi). These two sarcophagi are cut from the bedrock and thus, differ from the others; it is noteworthy that they are found near the Karamuar farm, which is situated at a lower level than the principal settlement centre. In this area, we do not find any independent sarcophagi. The fact that the farm owner was able to choose for himself a different type of grave although the centre is not too far was undoubtedly due to his economic status. As is known, this type of sarcophagi with a chest cut into rock and a lid is the simplest type of Roman graves. The easy method and cheapness of production made this type popular among common people. Therefore, it is normal to find this type more intensely in secondary settlements outside the main settlement.

The dating of the sarcophagi found in the main necropolis and the surrounding area does not overlap with that of the Acropolis, which is the most important and best preserved part of the settlement. All the sarcophagi, including the splendid monument on the Pırnaz pasture, date from the Roman period. But due to the Acropolis, which is dated to the Hellenistic period, it is expected to come across graves from earlier periods. Today, only the one chamosorion in the south of the acropolis fulfils this expectation. These tombs, due to the absence of any concrete finds, do not provide sufficient information to establish a date. However, the dates of the sarcophagi at Darıözü may be estimated taking into consideration the fact that this type was used from the Archaic to the Roman period over a large area and became more intense during the Hellenistic period, as confirmed by the examples in Patara. The most monumental tomb in Darıözü has been found in Fırnaz and is a typical ædicula tomb located on a stepped podium and covered by an arch.

*Yard. Prof. Dr. Nevzat Çevik, Akdeniz Üniversitesi, Fen-Edebiyat Fakültesi, Arkeoloji Bölümü, Kampüs - Antalya
**Yard. Prof. Dr. Burhan Varkıvanç, Akdeniz Üniversitesi, Fen-Edebiyat Fakültesi, Arkeoloji Bölümü, Kampüs - Antalya
***Yard. Doç. İsa Kızgut, Akdeniz Üniversitesi, Fen-Edebiyat Fakültesi, Arkeoloji Bölümü, Kampüs - Antalya
****F. Fatih Gülşen, Akdeniz Üniversitesi, Fen-Edebiyat Fakültesi, Arkeoloji Bölümü, Kampüs - Antalya

Article List