Start point: Car Rental Dalyan Turkey--Ancient City of Kaunos (2.42 km)
Created by: Turgay Uceren
Short description: This is a 2.42 km scooter route (Dalyan-Ancient City of Kaunos) in Dalyan Turkey. The route has a total ascent of 48 m and has a maximum elevation of 53 m.
Hotels on the scooter route: Dalyan Taşdan Backpacker Hostel - Dalyan Tezcan Hotel - Dalyan Dönmez Hotel - Dalyan Caria Premium Hotel - Dalyan Sahil Cinar Pansiyon
Restaurants on the scooter route: Dalyan Kebapcim Restaurant - Dalyan Caretta Pizza Restaurant- Dalyan Ali's Restaurant - Dalyan Kösem Restaurant - Dalyan Kordon Restaurant - Dalyan Yener's Place Restaurant - Dalyan Medusa Restaurant - Dalyan Begonville Restaurant - Dalyan Gecit Restaurant - Dalyan Multi Culti Restaurant - Dalyan Temsi Restaurant - Dalyan Cardak Tunay Restaurant - Dalyan Sini Restaurant - Dalyan Saki Restaurant - Dalyan Other Side Restaurant
Rock Cut Tombs of Kaunos
Rock Cut Tombs of Kaunos
Dalyan is a small fishing village located along the Dalyan riverbank near the southwest corner of Turkey. This country is known for its numerous rock-cut tombs. The most notable of these are the six Lycian rock-cut tombs that lie across the river from Dalyan. These breathtaking graves are the burial sites of the Kings of Caunos, and they date back to 400 B.C. Above the Dalyan River, these six temples seem to project out from the steep cliff walls that rise from the riverbank.
Two types of burial chambers are located in the Dalyan cliffs. These include simple rectangular chambers cut into the rock as well as the more detailed temple-style tomb. There is also a large unfinished tomb at this site. Builders carved each type of burial chamber with false walls in which to hide treasures belonging to the king or queen. Unfortunately, this did not deter treasure hunters from looting and desecrating the tombs.
In spite of this, the tombs did give archaeologists important information about the burial traditions at that time. There is one curious difference between the burial chambers in Lycia and those in other countries of that time. While the tombs in neighboring countries were constructed discreetly outside the towns, those in Lycia were often constructed in the center of the cities, in nearby cliffs and along the coastlines. They were a part of the urban landscape. The Lycians believed in always living with their loved ones. They also believed that a winged creature would take them to the after world and therefore built many of their burial chambers in the high cliffs.
The most striking rock-cut tombs are those that include the façade of a temple. This is the type of crypt used as the final resting place of the kings and queens. The façade usually consists of a pediment and columns between projecting sidewalls. The burial chamber is behind the façade and is accessed through a door. Inside the chamber, there are carved stone benches for the deceased as well as tables for offerings. Ornamental relief carvings and sculptures decorate some of the tombs. These usually illustrate the main events of the period as well as items specific to the deceased. When a burial was complete, builders sealed the opening with a sliding stone door.
Due to the fact that they are carved into the cliff face, one can see the rock-cut tombs at Dalyan from miles away. Most tourists enjoy the view from across the river where there are several hotels and restaurants facing the cliffs. The view is especially dramatic at night when the lights shine on the tombs. Those who wish a closer look can take a water taxi across the river, and walk along the road at the base of the cliffs. Due to the damage caused by looters, as well as safety issues along the cliffs, tourists can no longer climb up to the burial chambers for a closer look.
Although there are various things to do while visiting Turkey, one should be sure to put aside enough time to visit the rock-cut tombs of Dalyan. The architecture and the artistry of the burial chambers are among the best in Europe and should be a part of every traveler’s itinerary.