TELMESSOS  <<< back <<<

     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 unfinished.
     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 KÖKTÜRK

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