Ancient rock tombs near Dalyan, Turkey
© Reinhard Schmid/eStock Phot
Info. Dalyan, Turkey
Among the remains of the ancient Anatolian port city of Kaunos are these carvings in the rock walls above the Dalyan Çayı River. Looking over the modern-day city of Dalyan, Turkey, what appear to be ornate cliff dwellings are really the weathered façades of tombs for the elite of a once-forgotten society.
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. The gradual silting of its harbour, attacks from tribes and a malaria epidemic led to the decline of Kaunos, and the city was abandoned in the 15th century before an earthquake devastated the area, which became covered with sand and dense vegetation. Kaunos was largely forgotten until it was rediscovered by an English archaeologist in 1842. The ruins include these Lycian tombs, monuments and a 5,000-seater amphitheatre.