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. But it was the sands of time that conquered the city once and for all: Silty deposits from the river eventually rendered the port useless. Gradually abandoned, Kaunos's location was lost to memory, and its rock-hewn Lycian tombs, monuments and 5,000-seat amphitheatre were relegated to rumour until the English archaeologist Hoskyn rediscovered the site in 1842.