The settlement of the city of Phaselis covering nearly 28,8 hectares lies on two hills and the flat land between them. Here there are two separate sites:
1) The cape advancing out to the sea
2) The top and slopes of the hill in the north
The first site is suitable for colonial settlement because the cape is in a strategically advantageous location and easily defendable against attacks by sea and by land . The swamp on the land side turns into a lake in rainy weather thus forms a natural barricade.Also visibility at a long distance,which is important for voyages, adds to the value of its location.The advantages stood out particularly when its being a border between the Greek and Persian states and before the foundation of Attaleia. The peninsula which curves widely to the southeast, is covered by the hill rising perpendicularly from the sea. While the extensions of the hill stretching westward make the South harbour secure, the city harbour forms the outer side of the half curve. The city is divided into three sections: Acropolis – North Settlement – West Settlement.
Phaselis’ earliest settlement area is on the top of the hill protruding towards the sea. It occupies an area of nearly 8,4 hectares. This is the city’s acropolis. Acropolis descends from the height of over 30 metres towards the sea. On the steep abyss lies an unsafe, rocky area. During the excavations, ceramic fragments from 5 B.C. were found on the acropolis. Plutarkhos remarks that Phaselis was a fortified city in 5 B.C.The city walls were probably built immediately after the foundation of the city. The old city walls were damaged during the Ptolemaios siege and within ten years following 309 B.C.they were rebuilt in a new style. The ruins of walls seen today on the Acropolis belong to that period. The city wall rising to the south of Acropolis extends along the shores of the south bay to the city gate . The wall remnants seen on the south shores of the North bay circle the city harbour from outside, climb up the acropolis to the north and continue. The entire area within the Hellenistic wall has a flat land of nearly 20 hectares. The ruins here belong to the Imperial and Byzantine Ages.
Because of dense vegetation and damages of the later periods, only with comprehensive studies and excavations we can say something about the situation of the structures on the acropolis. Acropolis plateau extending toward southwest is quite convenient for settlement. Where the land was inconvenient, it was terraced to erect retaining walls and buildings. At about 20 meters there are land terraces with a scenic overlook and especially the theatre’s stage building and the walls begining from there can be seen. Almost 120 meters southwest to the structure which is a typical Roman theatre there are ruins of a square- planned structure with a marble altar of Zeus Boulaios. Many column drums and upper structure elements around the structure might indicate in antis or prostylos- planned little temple or they might belong to a bouleuterion structure in the city.Because the inscriptions with the epithet Βουλαῖος “ the guardian of Boule”, “ granting favors to the assembly” are generally related to bouleuterion structures.Since there are so many unfluted columns,Bayburtluoğlu suggests that the space surrounded with L-shaped stoa to the southeast of this structure might be two temples of Artemis and Apollon constructed side by side.
To the southwest end of the Acropolis, there is a basilica with three naves, an apsis measuring 17 m. by 12,50 m., in the northwest direction. To the southwest of the long room an almost square-shaped little structure is added outside.Apart from these ruins many cistern structures on the acropolis attract the attention.In all periods the city’s water needs were met both by conveying fresh water and by storing rainwater in the cisterns.For the Acropolis plateau and north settlement cisterns were used.Especially acropolis is full of round cisterns of various sizes.These cisterns could be seen in the Acropolis cliff’s steep part which was cracked by erosion. Rock cracks naturally happen to be where the rock weakens because of cisterns, that’s why half of these water collecting holes could still be seen in this cliff.
The North settlement covers the steep plateau opposite the acropolis, advancing out southwards and rising to the north of now the swampy area which was called λίμνη. The three-cornered upper surface of this plateau projection rising slightly towards northwest descends perpendicularly to the south and to the west. On the settlement area covering nearly 8,09 hectares are several fortifications but these are not connected to the wall on the acropolis which encircles the city and they don’t go earlier than 4th century B.C.This fortification shows a big piece of crenellated and towered wall. The retaining wall which extends cutting the southern part of the plateau transforms the south part of the plateau in to some sort of inner fortress protected by the wall to the north and accessible only through not- easily passable gate to the south. The ruins of walls scattered across the plateau, pieces of roof tiles, several big blocks, innumerable remains of small cisterns and fountains indicate public works.On the terraced belt just to the east of the gateway is the spring cavern which is vitally important for the city.
The settlement between the swamp and the south harbour is located on three low hills extending from east to west, which is quite suitable for urban development. This settlement area is bounded by the aquaductus to the east, the lake to the north and the city walls to the west and south. It covers an area of about 10,31 hectares. Although innumerable pieces of roof tiles are found on the flat area in the west part, only several foundations of buildings are noticed. To the west of Aquaductus, there are ruins of a 15 meter-long rectangular structure with northeast – southwest layout. Since no excavations have been conducted in here, it is not possible to say anything about the nature of these structures for now.
The water needs of the city’s low area was met by conveying water through aquaductus. This structure passed the low area between the North settlement and the hilly area to the west of the Tetragonal Agora through high arches thus fresh water could be transported to every part of the city. Phaselis aquaductus, which was more than 450 meters long, was designed like a long Roman waterway. On the southern hillsides of the north settlement the aquaductus was constructed as a wall. Its lower part corresponding to the present shore of the north bay has collapsed, its remains are underwater. Not only the sea but also the landslides had damaged the walls. Aquaductus begins at a height of 13 meters. The ruins of the last,broken part are protected for almost 7 meters over the land.In the construction of the waterway limestone blocks have been used. Most of the stone material used here is spolien.A little before the collapse of the wall on its south end, a passage was built. The section above it consists of two parallel blocks which give a complete cover. The gateposts are made of perfectly cut blocks. Even though the gateposts are damaged, inner bossaged stones can still be seen. The threshold stone of the passage consists of two sarcophagi at the sides, the bottoms of which stretch towards the later extension within the line of walls, then surrounded with a bossage and a wide band space. To the east side of the wall there is a tomb structure, among few remains, some part of its rear wall and side walls are intact. On the top cover slab rises the mortared-cut stone wall arrangement as the main bearer of the ceramic waterpipes, in it there is spolien material and tile pieces. Within the wall structure we see square scaffolding spaces measuring about 0.18×0.18 m at 3-4 meters intervals. The water conveyor structure consists of two water pipes opened into the mortared wall structure one on top of another.
The Main Street
Between the city harbour and the south harbour lies the main street which connects these harbours to each other. During the Imperial Period, this street was the vital point of the city since it was the shortest and most convenient way to go from one port to another and it was centrally located within the city. The street measuring 225 m. by 20-25 m. and completely laid with stone slabs extends from the south harbour directly into the city. Three stepped structure along the way, rising on either side of the street is quite interesting. When C. Fellows first saw the main street, he thought that this was the city’s stadion. C. Bayburtluoğlu thinks that three-stepped side walks might be a structure similar to a stoa covered with a wooden top. On either side of the street are the statue pedestals with fixed intervals.
The street forms in front of the Tetragonal Agora a square risen on either side with two steps. The existence of the steps leading to the square on both sides indicates that the street was used only for pedestrian traffic. The terraces here, which are nearly 60 cm. higher than the square ground and 1 m. wide, create a long base for some inscription and statue pedestals as well as providing seats for the pedestrians strolling around the square. Along the terrace extending in front of the Tetragonal Agora at least 12 statue pedestals and inscription spaces have been detected.
The Little Bath is on the east side of the square.To the north of this structure there is mosaic floored latrina surrounded with deep channels on three sides.The sewage structure detected along the road seems to have been used not only for waste water but also for carrying rain water.
To the southwest of the square a street with wide steps which is bounded by a supporting wall on its north and is turning first southward and then eastward climbs up the acropolis. Another stepped street which makes a 90 degree angle with the first one links the square to the theatre.
Along the right and left sides of the main street there is a line of structures and square establishments. In this part of the city there are traces of a certain urban planning. The only structure which could be dated as the earliest is the Domitianus Agora with an inscription dedicated to Domitianus.
On the street, just to the north of the Domitianus Agora is the Tetragonal Agora, thanks to the dedicatory inscription we learn that it was constructed during the Hadrianus Period and dedicated to the emperor. Between these two agoras there is a street which is linked to the main street.At the junction, there are two nymphaions, one on the street’s Domitianus Agora, and the other Tetragonal Agora side.The ruins indicate that both nymphaions were single storey structures with basins and pillared facades. C. Bayburtluoğlu thinks that the first fountain structure could be dated to the 3rd century A.D. and the other between 3rd-4th centuries A.D.
A magnificently constructed gate separates the South harbour and the main street at the entrance of the harbour. This single-arched, square-shaped monumental gate rising above two pylons and decorated with lion feet profiled elements on four sides was erected in honor of Emperor Hadrianus’ visit to the city during his eastern expedition. The ruins of buildings to the east of the South harbour, like those in the city harbour might be related to customs system.
The Big Bath
It is situated at the main street’s city harbour entrance on the west side of the way. In fact the structure is a Bahth–Gymnasion complex. This structure’s side facing the main street underwent some changes, shops were added in some parts especially in later periods. The entrance of the first structure measuring 24×14 m. is a big gate on the west side. This structure , whose floor is covered with neat square blocks of lime stone, is connected with the gymnasion through two gates in the north. Between these gates are three big niches having the same depth but different width. On the surface of the wall which is just opposite the niches there are three gate-openings from west to east.The first of them was closed at a later period. It isn’t clear whether the structure which is thought to have been an Apodyterium is covered on top or not.
To the south of the Apoduterium, there is a space extending like a narrow,long corridor and consisting of two parts.On the side of the street it has an absidal-planned pool which is on the same level with the street’s pavement. The pool is connected both with the street and with the fridigarium through the top of the apsis and through a stairway near the north wall. The floor of the pool is covered with marble-like limestone slabs. The pool is surrounded with 1 metre-high marble panels and a molding bounding it on top. The section which is 1 m. high from the pool ground and whose floor is again covered with limestone slabs is 8 m-long frigidarium.The second section of the corridor-like space begining at the bottom of the wall and having a haypocaust system is thought to have been tepidarium. Both are covered with vaults.
Between the space including the Tepidarium and the frigidarium and the warm water part caldarium runs a narrow corridor with two doors, one opening into the frigidarium and the other to the tepidarium in its north wall and three doors opening in to the caldarium in its south wall. This section is where the heating system of the bath with warm air and steam could be best observed.Also, the openings left along the wall at the points where the ground joined with side walls show that it was heated through the side walls as well as by underfloor.
There is a half-circle planned niche in the center of the Caldarium’s south wall. This space is connected with praefurnium through two openings on the east and west end of the south wall. Both openings are of bricks in ogival style and are connected with the furnace on both sides.The east wall of the Caldarium is connected with the room overlooking the street with a window which was opened just in the middle and provided light for the caldarium.The two rooms on the tetragonal agora side of the Caldarium and linked to the furnace through a door might have been used by the employees of the bath. The excavations conducted in these rooms have revealed candles and a great number of coins dating back to the 4th century A.D.
The masonry and the unearthed oil lamps and coins indicate that the structure can’t have been constructed before 3rd century A.D.It was renovated in 4th century A.D.In this period new walls were added to the structure and some entries were closed.During these renovations palaestra was separated from the main structure to a great extent and obtained a peristyle form. The spaces providing entrance to Palestra are situated in the east and the west directions and have almost the same length and width. Between these marble covered corridors measuring 3.5×9 m is again a mosaic floored room measuring 9/12.In the middle of this mosaic-panelled floor embellished with geometric and floral designs is a mosaic inscription made of smaller tesseras and bearing the names of the people who made the marble. On the inscription writes,“ the Agoranomos, the son of [..]duma[..] and Zosimos, the son of Iason is having this floor mosaic made for the country” .The similar style mosaic floor- similar motif the size of the tesseras and the general appearance – is seen in the other spaces in the north direction. C. Bayburtluoğlu calls this space “ the Bishop Palace”, thinking that it might have been a villa of a wealthy citizen.
To the west side of the space where the street forms the square lies the Tetragonal Agora. The dedicatory inscription shows that it was constructed during the Hadrianus Period and dedicated by a woman named Tyndaris of Phaselis to the emperor (for the ins. see below S. *). The ancient name of this structure becomes clear thanks to the inscription which is intact on the lintel at the entrance.Indeed the horizontal cut of the agora with the dimensions of 37×33 m. is nearly a square. The fact that it was different from the other agoras in the way it was used and designed might be the reason why it was called Tetragonal agora.We see this type of agora especially in the Asia Minor from the 4th B.C. onward as closed square establishments.
The outer walls of the structure are mostly protected.Almost all of the surrounding walls are made of clear-cut blocks of stones on the front side while the inner walls are made of broken stones containing bricks and clay pieces. The quality of clear-cut blocks of the Tetragonal agora’s outer walls could be analized in relation to the nature of the many structures on the main street. In the middle of the southeast wall facing the main street there is a 1,87 metre -wide entrance. This entrance underwent great changes in the late periods. Because the gateposts of the agora and the threshold they rest on stand almost 1.50 m. higher than the square’s surface. It is certain that a ramp or a stairway ending almost 30 cm. below the threshold stone and begining from the square was used to enter the agora.There are two statue pedestals,one of Q. Voconius Saxa Fidus and the other of Opramoas on either side of the entrance. The structure in its present condition doesn’t say much about the function of the agora but the statues at the entrance suggest that it might have been a structure used for political and administrative purposes.
Later a different structure was constructed in the Tetragonal Agora. Because of the intact apsis structure in the northeast, the ruins of its walls indicate a basilica. Although inside of the structure was used during the Byzantine Age, the cleaning work in the agora reveals that the great changes intensified especially on the north and east sides. Thus the cleaning of the agora in north direction shows that after the construction of the basilica, some of the shops or stores of the agora were modified with extensions and continued to be used. Even though there are Byzantine extensions in the east and south directions of the agora, the original plan has generally been maintained. Opposite the main entrance in the east direction traces of a pillared portico to create a big courtyard in the middle can be seen.The walls and partitions which go parallel to the south wall forming shops at fixed intervals reflect both their first uses and their usage in the Byzantine Period.
On the southwest wall of the agora we can see the traces of a protruding molding shaped with block stones and on it the traces of hydraulic mortar. On this molding a waterpipe was installed and this pipe was extended from aquaductus to the west corner of the Agora. On the southwest corner of the agora this pipe descends to the present surface level in a narrow angle.
The inscription showing the Archaic Period letter characters and black figure tecnique ceramic pieces imported from Attica discovered in the agora during the excavations conducted by C. Bayburtluoğlu prove that the area around the agora had been inhabited since the Archaic Period.
The latrina structure is situated on the northwest border of the space where the main street which extends between the city harbour and the south harbour is risen with a step between tetragonal agora and the theatre and forms the square, to the north of the Little Bath. This rectangular-planned structure, whose wall facing the street has been repaired and reached a hight of 3.5m.during the excavations, measures 15.42×10.15 m. and has no traces of windows.It is surrounded with deep channels in three directions.The dual openings of the channels and their connections to the sewage indicate that this structure could be a latrine.The floor is covered with mosaic adorned with simple geometric patterns.Altough mortar is seen in the masonry of the structure, blocks of stone weren’t cemented.Almost all of the block stones’ front sides have a slightly swelling bossage.The surface of the walls were probably covered with a heavy layer of plaster.Surprisingly the wall at the rear , towards the slope is made with litle care.Irregularly cut blocks and small pieces of broken stones give the impression that this wall doesn’t belong to the original structure.
The structural connection between the latrina and the main street is not clear. Since the latrine closes half of the way, we can reasonably place this structure in a later period than the date of the main street. The structure doesn’t have an entrance facing the street and its entrances are in its narrow northeast and southeast facades. In the southeast side, between Latrina and the Little Bath there is a narrow street rising in the direction of the theatre.
The Little Bath
The structure called as Little Bath is located just in front of the theatre. According to C. Bayburtluoğlu the structure with a Lycian type plan was constructed after the earthquake of 5 August 240. The spolien construction material which was used in the walls and could be dated before that time supports his claim. A silver cross with agate gemstone and its chain which were found on the uppest levels during the cleaning and repairing process and which could be related to the Arab raids or the Crusades indicate that the structure also called as the Theatre Bath might have been used probably until the end of the 8th century A.D.
Since it’s floor is covered with clear-cut rectangular plaques without hypocaust system, the first section of the bath which has cold water entrance in its southwest corner, probably a small fountain on its south wall, is the frigidarium. This structure, which should open to the apodyterium through a gate in the middle of the east wall, is linked to the tepidarium through a gate in the middle of the north wall. The tepidarium is on the west side of the middle section of the bath. Hot air comes to the tepidarium through the gate opening to the caldarium and also through the channels passing under its floor. Laconium is heated by the normal under floor paggages directly connected with caldarium and praefurnium as well as the hot air channel connecting tepidarium with this section.On the corners of the room’s east wall there are slots to provide lateral heating and two funnels in the each corner of the east wall ,which climb up toward the ceiling, discharge excessive steam.
It is certain that all three sections of the bath which lie side by side on the east-west direction had a vault cover on top.The Apodyterium is thought to have had a vault forming a vertical angle with them.
The theatre is constructed on the northwest slopes of the Akropolis and with its skene and cavea still intact. The north-outside wall of the Skene structure had been used for late-period city wall. At the north entrance to the theatre, between the analemma wall and the tower from the Hellenistic Period, on the wall covering the parados from the north, there are two gates constructed at different times.
The steps begining from the main street lead, in two different branches to the south parodos.But excavation and cleaning work reveal that the steps leading directly to the east parados weren’t constructed at their points of contact with the theatre. Both paradoi of the cavea to northwest were constructed open.The shape of the north parados was changed with construction of a wall in a later period.Cavea is semi-circular, which is rare for the Lycian Region. The height of rows of seats varies between 0.35 m – 0.40 m . Both in the cavea and in the stage, like in many other structures of the city ,conglomerate and marble have been used as structural material.
Cavea,which has 20 rows of seats, is divided into five sections by six sets of stairs measuring 0.75 m – 0.82 m. in width and each consisting of 44 steps. The first four steps measuring 0.22 m – 0.25 m in height are between the orchestra floor,1 meter in depth, and the first row of seats. At the uppest part of the rows of seats there is a passageway with 2 – 2.60 m. in width. This section is enclosed with a mortared wall.Probably there were connection points between the top of the cavea and the Acropolis but they can’t be detected now. On the rows there are many slots with 0.18m- 0.24m in diameter in which the wooden poles bearing the tent above were inserted.
The entrances to the theatre were at first through paradoi and later through the steps begining from the orchestra ground. The diameter of the orchestra arch which is a little bigger than a half circle is 17 m. The ground floor of the stage measuring nearly 30×9 m. is well protected.The structure’s frontside wall and and the corner part of the narrow side wall in the south remain intact up to a height at the roof level.The stage had two storeys and its height must have been at the same level with the uppest row of seats in the cavea. The building opens to the orchestra with 6 gates at the ground floor and with 5 gates on the first floor. The ground floor from the orchestra’s ground upward must have been 3 meters.
The rear wall of the structure which later also served as a part of the city wall is 1.70m. thick in its some parts. Since the structure was constructed on a sloping hillside, this rear wall, from the ground of the bath structure upward was quite high and strong. The stones fallen down lie scattered between these two structures.
Between the five gates on the first floor there are 6 niches.Among these niches where probably statues were placed in ,the first one from the south is in situ. The front wall of the stage structure is 0.90 m. thick. While the outer part is constructed with big and angular stones , the inner part is built with large and small mortared stones .During the last excavation and cleaning work, the ground floor and the proskenion have been brought to light to a great extent.Its 6 gates 0.94 m -1.02 m in width directly lead to the orchestra.These gates are nearly 1.80 m high.
The proskenion structure most of which has been revealed during the excavation is what it was expected to be. It is over 3m high and about 2.65m far from the stage structure’s front. On the threshold part, which is on the frontside of the proskenion, there are 10 half columns placed at equal distances (about 1.60 m).Among the few architectural materials discovered, broken architrave blocks are particulary important. One architrave block with triglyphs is 0.49 m high.The half columns which are unearthed during the cleaning work and from the west end of the proskenion line lowering to the east, show that the theatre wasn’t used after the damage. The connection slots seen on the threshold, on the side of each of these columns indicate that the space between the columns were sometimes covered probably with plaques. Some part of the west wall which is 0.40 m.thick is unearthed. Between this proskenion wall and the west analemma wall is about 4.35 m. entrance (parados)
The earliest structure in the city which could be precisely dated is the Domitian Agora with an inscription in honor of Emperor Domitian above its entrance. The structure is situated on the land sloping towards the south harbour on the southwest, on a terrace which was formed artificially by a retaining wall. Since this site hasn’t been excavated so far, we don’t know how the shops of the agora and the porticoes in front of them were designed. But we can say that this site belongs to a major structural complex sorrounded with 8 different structures. While its southeast and southwest sides are enclosed with rooms in different sizes, on its northwest side only a retaining wall which bounds the site can be seen. Its northeast side is left open. There the southwest side of the tetragonal agora creates an optical end. The northwest wall turns northwards and about 10 meters farther it dissappears within this land. It meets a street probably linked to a long and important street stretching in the northwest-southeast direction.On the Agora’s terrace wall whose southwest parts are reinforced with supporting polls is a line of windows facing the south harbour.
On the front side of the structure which lies along the main street on an area raised with steps there are two entrances.But these entrances must have been built not for the passage of goods or vehicles but only for individuals.The entrance on the north side of this facade is emphasized with an arch. While the part of arch facing the way consists of a single block, its inner part consists of two blocks meeting in the middle of the arch.While one of the two paralel monolithic gate lintels of the other entrance is still in situ, the one on the front side, other lintel has fallen inside.On the front side lintel is a lintel in a similar form. The block of the gate lintel on the front side bears the inscription of the structure on a tabula ansata . Some part of this inscription is still in situ and writes: The son of divine Vespasianus, pontifex maximus, tiribunica potestas 13 times, emperor 22 times, consul 16 times, censor forever, the father of the country Emperor Caesar Domitianus Augustus (built this structure). The part where the emperor’s name was inscribed has been shaved. Because of his despicable and radical actions during his rule, Domitianus had received a damnatio memoriae after his death on 18 September 96. That’s why in order to erase his memory, his statues were destroyed , his name on the inscriptions was deleted. This inscription, which is dated to 14 September 93 – 13 September 94, doesn’t record what the structure was . J. Schäfer ,taking both its location and its structural character into consideration suggests that this structural complex might be an agora and possibly necessitated the planning of the structural establishments to the south and of the main street’s north line.According to this claim, the north line of the main street was also built in 1st century A.D.Unlike the Tetragonal agora, the Domitian agora has many rooms and must be much more functional.
The Hadrian Gate
The single arched monumental gate erected in honour of Emperor Hadrianus by the Phaselisians stands where the main street ends at the entrance of the South Harbour. The podium and the pilaster bases’ four facades which are in situ have profiles. On the corners of the podium blocks there are stylized lion feet.Among these lion feet, one on the west and two on the east are intact. The facades of 4 pilaster bases that sit on the podium are decorated with molding. The pilaster on the corner is two sided.
The architectural blocks belonging to the Hadrian Gate show that the structure was designed in the Ionic-Attic order.Its 4 facades are decorated with floral and architectural ornaments and the structure is gorgeous.The facades are adorned with pilastered piers and corners.The corner pilasters with spiral branched bunch of grapes hanging from Kantharos and crowned with Ionic order capitals are at the side/ outer corners of the structure. The arch measures 9.26 m.by 2.68 m. The distance between its in situ east and west piers is 4.25 m.Both podiums ornamented with lion feet measure 2.68×2.68 m. with a height of 0.46 m.The podium and the pilaster bases are severely fractured.
The upper structure, in harmony with the piers, are also sectioned by pilasters on the corners. On the architrave block ornamented with three fascias the attic rises .It is profiled in the Corinthian order and ends with an image having a lion head. On three fascias of the attic facing the south harbour, there is a dedicatory inscription for “ Hadrian of Olympos”. It writes: “ Phaselisians’ boule and demos dedicated to the grandson of divine Nerva, the son of divine Traianus Parthicus, pontifex maximus, tiribunica potestas 15 times, consul 3 times, the father of the country, the savior and benefactor of the whole universe,Emperor Hadrianus Caesar Olympios Augustus”.
The inscription is dated to the emperor’s 15th tribunica potestas title (10 December 130-9 December 131) .The inscription above the entrance of Phaselis’ Tetragonal Agora gives the same date.Even though these two inscriptions don’t mention Hadrian’s visit, they must be connected to his second visit in 131/2 . The fact that the gate faces the sea shows that the emperor arrived the city by sea and came ashore in the South Harbour. Hadrian came from Perge to Attaleia probably by land; went from there to Phaselis by ship; from Phaselis to the provincial capital Patara again by land. So The Hadrian Gate must have been built in 131/32 A.D.
Outside the city walls, along the ancient road, there are three nekropolises: the northeast necropolis, northwest necropolis and the west necropolis. The northeast nekropolis is the biggest one. This necropolis site begins on the steep slopes which rise from the north bay onward and extends as far as İnce Burun to the east. Along the north bay, because of the coastal erosion some tombs here have collapsed into the sea. In this site there are very different types of tombs. Apart from semerdam roofed, flat roofed and khamasorion sarcophagi, masonry tombs and burial rooms of probably later periods can also be seen. The structural techniques( the intense use of mortar) and inscribed finds show that the tomb structures are generally from the Imperial Period.This is also true for the major tomb structure on the western shore of the north bay which was mentioned by the 19th century travellers. The majority of the rest of the tombs aren’t dated earlier than the Imperial Period.Most of the tombs here were already looted probably in the ancient times.
The northwest necropolis extends along the western hillsides of the north settlement to the base of the valley.On the east-west axis of the track entering Phaselis there are about ten flat-roofed sarcophagi, five khamasorion and one semardam shaped tomb carved into rock. Since the baked-clay tomb lids and ceramic pieces were found around, the simple burial technigues might also have been applied.Between the south line of the north settlement and the limne (lake) only a few tomb structures have been discovered.
The west necropolis lies on the slopes of the hill starting to rise on the west of the swamp. Just below the terrace of the line ,33 sarcophagi placed close to each other have been found. The sarcophagi were positioned in east-west direction and side by side as long as the topography allowed it, the last two sarcophagi in the south were a bit inside of this row. The east direction the sarcophagi’s narrow sides are facing is at about 2.5 meter lower code than the walking surfaces by the lake. The track coming from the south (from the direction of the city) and going toward to north passes by the necropolis. All of the sarcophagi here are made of conglomerate rock. The majority of the tombs’ east sides are damaged and the broken parts have tumbled down the sloping land. Some of the wholly or partly protected lids stand on the box but the filling layer makes measurements impossible. The sarcophagi of this site bear no traces of ornamentation or inscription.
The city of Phaselis, situated on the western shore of Pamphylia Bay has three natural harbours. The first of these three harbours is located to the north of the cape projecting toward the sea.The north bay has been closed in the north east by cliffs which stretch out into the sea for 300 meters and on which there are ruins of walls .The northern shore of the bay is quite steep, it doesn’t have a straight shoreline.The deepest part of the harbour area reaches 7-8 m. and intense rubble filling can be seen.The connection of the small island on the North harbour area to the mainland with a strong wall created both a big, protected harbour and a protected anchorage to the northeast of the harbour’s breakwater when the wind blew from the west. The west part of the North port is now a gravelled beach and on the shoreline numerous tomb structures of numerous types partly revealed by the waves are seen.This site has been used mostly as a necropolis area.
The south bay to the south of the cape is straight and a natural sandbar in the northeast and is completely protected against the north and east winds. Unlike the north bay, this one isn’t shallow and rocky. The high hills to the west of the harbour forms a shield against the dominating west winds and turns the harbour into a very protected anchorage area.Against the winds blowing from the south, by filling the sea begining from the mainland a jetty which extended in the east-west direction and measured about 200 m. by 50 m. was created on the west part of the city.We know that the ancient jetty was covered with filling material in an attempt to build a modern harbour but it is left unfinished and we don’t know yet whether the new filling changed the dimensions of the jetty or not.We can see its about 50 meter-long part on the shoreline but the rest is under water in 1-6 m. depth. In the construction of the jetty, the underwater part was filled with ruble of different sizes, on the part above water,close to the shore the structures made of cut stone conglomerate blocks were built. It appears that in the Imperial Period this harbour served the city’s representative purposes. Emperor Hadrianus must have entered the city through this harbour. Because the dedicatory inscription above the monumental gate, which was erected in honor of his visit on the mainstreet going down the south harbour, faces seaward. In the Ancient Period, the South harbour was vitally important for the trading city of Phaselis. The Merchant vessels must have easily entered the bay and embarked in this wide harbour. For this reason we might look for an emporion close to the harbour.
The third harbour is the little city harbour within the city walls. It is bounded to the south by the peninsula on which the city Acropolis is situated, to the north by a small peninsula seperating the north harbour on which the city walls are situated and the city harbour and to the west by a small sandbank on the main axis of the city’s main street. Since this harbour area is centrally located within the city, it is called the City Harbour and it has a basin of about 7500 m2. The entrance is on the east and about 15 m. wide.The jetties of the harbour are also the extension of the city walls, which indicates that this harbour was a closed harbour (limen kleistos). The north jetty of the harbour is about 70 meter-long and 4 meter-wide. To the 35 m. north of the north jetty’s entrance opening’s end, there is an architectural arrangement which indicates a tower. This tower must have been an additional force of the jetty against the winds and also played a functional role in the defense system of the harbour. This partly protected jetty have openings in its underwater part.Although these openings appeared to have been made during the construction of the jetty in order to discharge the pollution in the harbour basin, it is also possible that they were the holes left by the cracked up conglomerate blocks which were exposed to the abrasive effects of the seawater and the waves.
The harbours where different nations and their representatives meet to purchase new goods or exchange goods are of cultural- historical importance. Phaselis harbours primarily served the purpose of sea trading and sea transport. Unlike the modern ocean transport, the shipping of the Ancient Period was a coastal transport. Since the vessels of this period didn’t have the equipment to travel on the open sea for a long time they had to sail along the coastline. Especially the battle ships were dependent on the shore since they weren’t big enough to accomodate the crew and the soldiers, they had to come ashore every night. Apart from the equipment of the ships, the devastating storms of the Pamphylian Sea increased the importance of the sheltered harbours on the shores.
Because of the geographical location of Teke Peninsula extenting out into the Mediterranean, the Lycian harbours had always been the indispensible and favourite spots of the sea trade between Greece – Syria – Phoinike since the earliest times. Because of its suitable location and convenient harbours, Phaselis was also an important station of the sea transport between the Agean and the Levantine regions. The trade way from Athens to Egypt followed the Aegean Islands ® Ionia ® Rhodes ® Phaselis ® Cyprus ® Phoenicia routes.It is known that due to the storms of the East Mediterranean,the Alexandrian ships carrying grain to Rome mostly travelled following Aleksandreia ® Kap Akamas ® Pamphylian Sea ® Lykia routes .
We see that Phaselis played a vital role as a stopover on the two important sea routes of the Ancient Period. Thukydides records that at the begining of the Peloponnesos Battle, Athens sent a small fleet consisting of 6 ships for the safety of the trade ships sailing between Phaselis – Phoinike – Athens. Phaselis cape’s providing long-distance viewing is especially a distinctive quality for the ancient sea travels. Livius states that Phaselis was located on a cape extending out into the sea and the first city to be seen by the ships travelling from Cilicia to Rhodes and had a wide view of the sea. Eudamos of Rhodes sailing out from Samos to stand against the fleet sent from Syria by Hannibal decided to wait the enemy with his fleet under his command at Phaselis because of the city’s convenient location.The city of Phaselis, which had been the most important harbour in the Pamphylian Bay until the foundation of Attaleia (ca. 150 B.C.), became a nest of pirates in the 1 century B.C. So much so that together with the cities of Olympus and Korykos, also the city of Phaselis became a haunt of Zenicetes,the leader of the pirates, as well.
When the sailors’ manuals of the Ancient Period are analysed, it is seen that Phaselis was always given as one of the stations on the sea routes both in the earliest and the latest portulans. Pseudo-Skylaks, the 4th century B.C. portulan shows Phaselis as a Lycian harbour. On the Stadiasmus Maris Magni, the Byzantine version of the Stadiasmus of the 3rd century B.C. the route along the shores makes a stopover at Lyrnas harbour and then comes westward to Phaselis , from there continues along Korykos and the islands. On the late Medieval portulan Pisa (ca. 1200) Phaselis is mentioned as Postur Basilea.