The Telmessos antique city is the only center along
the Mediterran cean shores where settlemment has been continuous
from the first establishment to the present day.The philological
studies reveal that city dates back to the third Century B.C.
Howerer, no concrete evidence has yet been obtained in support of
this theory. According to Suidas, early in the trojan war,Odysseus
was sent as ambassador of Athens, accompanied by menelaus, who
were welcomed by King Antenor. At about the same time, Appollon
fell in love with Antenor's daughter and appeared to her as a dog.
The child born of this affair was called Telmessos. Later a city
was founded on the Lycian border hamed Talmessos after the child.
Appollon appointed his off-spring as the prophet of this new city.
The antique city was destrojet in the course of every
attack and had its share of numerous earth-quakes.
Thus only the rock tombs and a few sarcophagi are now
standing. The Telmessos theater, mentioned by 19th Century
travellers and appaearing in engravings of the same period, was
covered by soil until recently. Byvirtue of excavations carried
out under the auspices of the Fethiye Museum, the theater is now
once moreembracing the puplic. Athough the site and its plan carry
Hellenistic features, the remains date to the Roman period. The
theater was converted into an arena in the 3rd Century A.D.
The oldest ruins are the rock-tombs. The most prominent
among them is the one called the Amynthas Tomb due to the
insciription "Amynthas, son of Hermapias" in the mid-section of
the eastern ante-wall. The face of the tomb resembles an lonian
temple. On the slope to the east of this tomb there is a group of
rock- toms. Twoof these have temple - like faces similar to the
Amynthas Tomb; though on a smaller scale. One of them is left
On the southern part of the modern city, there are
ruins of large fortress built in the middle Ages with various
assemled materials. No clear indication of inhabitance meets the
eye at the fortress resting largely on the main, rocky surface. It
must have been used for defensive purposes.
Written by Hüseyin