Ancient rock tombs carved into the cliff near Dalyan, Turkey
© Reinhard Schmid/eStock Phot
The land that time almost forgot. Dalyan, Turkey
Overlooking the modern-day Turkish city of Dalyan, what appear to be ornate cliffside homes are really weathered tombs for the elite of a once-forgotten society. These carvings in the rock walls above the Dalyan Çayı River are among what remains of the ancient Anatolian port city of Kaunos.
With a history of human habitation going back almost 3,000 years, Kaunos has over the centuries found itself under Persian, Greek, Persian (again), Macedonian, Roman, Lycian, Roman (again), and finally Turkish rule – just to give you the highlights. But it was the sands of time that conquered the city once and for all – silty deposits from the river eventually mucked up the port so badly it became useless. Gradually abandoned, Kaunos' location was lost to memory, and its rock-hewn Lycian tombs, monuments, and 5,000-seater amphitheater were relegated to rumour until a British surveyor rediscovered the site in 1842.