Discovery of the City and History of the Research
Captain François Beaufort is the first modern researcher to discover the ruins of the city of Phaselis, which lies to the west of Antalya Bay, on the east coast of Teke Peninsula,on a cape projecting out to the sea.In connection with the task of measuring the southern shorelines of Asia Minor conducted on behalf of the Royal Navy, Beaufort visited Phaselis in 1811-1812 and drew its plan. Charles Robert Cockerell, the English Architect and Archeologist also came to Phaselis in the same year. Then in 1838 the English Archeologist Sir Charles Fellows visited the city. Fellows ,who had found the fragments of the dedicatory inscription over the monumental gate built in honour of Hadrianus, thought that the Imperial Period main street was stadion . In 1842 Thomas Abel Brimage Spratt, the English Lieutenant, Hydrographer and Geographer and Edward Forbes, the English Naturalist came to Phaselis, following Olympos – Khimaira routes. Since all of them came by sea and stayed for a short time, land descriptions are not detailed and there are serious orientation mistakes in terms of directions.
The researchers who visited Phaselis between the late 19th and early 20th centuries mainly focused on the discovery of inscriptions. In 1881-1882 while Otto Benndorf, the founder of the Austrian Archeological Institute, the Archeologist and Epigraphist and his team were conducting researches in the southwest of Asia Minor, they examined Phaselis,as well. In the winter of 1883 – 1884 Felix Ritter von Luschan from the Austrian team was the first to photograph the site in a way to give information about the regional features of Phaselis shoreline. In the same year , The French Scientist Victor Bérard visited the settlement.In 1892 the members of the Austrian research team Otto Benndorf, Ernst Kalinka and their colleagues carried out architectural, archeological and epigraphical studies in Phaselis. In 1904 they were followed by David George Hogarth, Richard Norton and Albert William van Buren from the English research team.In 1908 Ernst Kalinka,the Austrian Classical Philologist visited the settlement again, collected epigraphic documents and conducted researches on the histoy of the city and in 1944 published his studies in TAM II. The Italian researchers RobertoParibeni and Pietro Romanelli visited the ancient city in 1913 ; Carlo Anti in 1921 . Anti went back to Antalya by land and discovered several epigraphs and ruins of structures within Phaselis territorium.
The archeological, epigraphical and historical-geographical studies of Phaselis were performed by the English researcher Freya Madeline Stark and George Bean ,who came to the site after World War II. In1968 German Architect and Underwater Archeologist Helmut Schläger started exploring topographical and architectural nature of Phaselis ports.After Schläger’s death in 1969, the investigations were conducted under the leadership of Archeologist Jorg Schäfer in 1970. Schläger, Schäfer and their colleagues obtained important data about the architecture and history of Phaselis, by doing surface exploration in the city and its periphery.The most comprehensive topographic map on Phaselis’ settlement texture was prepared by this team.
After the excavations along the city’s main street axis conducted under the leadership of Kayhan Dörtlük, the Director of Antalya Museum in 1980 and under the presidency of the Archeologist Cevdet Bayburtluoğlu between 1981- 1985, in 1992 the site arrangement and cleaning work were carried out by Antalya Museum under the presidency of İ. Akan Atila and between 1999-2000 Underwater Explorations were conducted in the South Harbor presided by Metin Pehlivaner, the Director of the Museum at that time. Since 2012, which marked 200th anniversary of its discovery , a multidimensional surface exploration has been performed in the ancient city of Phaselis and its Territorium by interdisciplinary teams under the leadership of Prof.Dr.Murat Aslan,the Archeologist, Epigraphist and Ancient Period Historiographer from Akdeniz University.