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Turkey Travel Guide

Xanthos

XANTOS

Xanthos was the capital city of the Lycian Federation and its greatest city for most of Lycian history.  It was made famous to the Western world in the 19th century by its British discoverer Charles Fellows.  It is very old - finds date back to the 8th century BC, but it is possible that the site may have existed during the Bronze Age or during the first centuries of the Iron Age

Xanthos and Letoon  are often seen as a "double-site",Letoon was the sacred cult center of Lycia, located less than 10 km to the south of Xanthos.  Xanthos-Letoon is one of the most remarkable archaeological sites in Turkey. For this reason, it has been registered in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list. Currently there is a French team excavating Xanthos and Letoon.

It is located near the village of Kınık on a hillside in a beautiful natural site overlooking the Eşen river.  From this elevation one receives a supreme view of the Xanthos Valley surrounded by the spectacular Taurus Mountains.Although Charles Fellows carried away most of the finds of Xanthos (now in the British Museum) many interesting monuments and structures remain, including two of the most interesting tombs in Lycia. 

Perhaps the most beautiful thing Fellows took from Xanthos was The Nereid Monument, a very large and elaborate Lycian tomb dating from about 380 BC, an interesting mix of Greek and Lycian styles.  Other notable objects taken were the lovely Lion Tomb and the Tomb of Payava.

 

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