Not much is known about the Lycians, although they appear to have emerged in Anatolia some time between 4000 and 3000 BC.

Fiercely independent, they seem to have lived in a string of city-states linked together by the powerful Lycian Federation which managed to hold out against the all-conquering Romans until 43 AD.

Even non-experts can easily learn to detect the past presence of the Lycians thanks to their distinctive funerary monuments, which come in three separate forms.

In the first place there are the plain and hefty stone sarcophagi of the type to be seen in Fethiye high street, on the outskirts of Patara, and at the top of Uzun Çarşı in Kaş.

Then there are pretty rock-cut tombs with carved panelling that resemble older wooden protoypes; tombs like this can be seen in the necropolis at Xanthos and backing the great theatre at Myra (Demre).

Finally, and most impressively, there are the spectacular rock-cut tombs that look like delicate miniature temples that can be seen at the back of Fethiye and gazing down on the İztuzu river in Dalyan.

The most impressive of all Lycian sites is probably Xanthos, near Patara, which, when twinned with the Letoon, makes up one of Turkey’s UNESCO-listed world heritage sites.

Eventually most of the Lycian settlements were taken over by the Romans; a few went on to greater things, but gradually most were abandoned.

Read more Turkey's Lycian sites: http://www.todayszaman.com/news-223948-117-coasting-the-mediterranean-in-the-footsteps-of-the-lycians.html



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