Idebessos or Idebessus, also known as Edebessus or Edebessos (Ancient Greek: Ἐδεβησσός)[1] or (Ancient Greek: Ἐδεβησός),[2] was an ancient city in Lycia. It was located at the foot of the Bey Mountains to the west of the Alakır river valley. Today its ruins are found a short distance to the west of the small village of Kozağacı in the Kumluca district of Antalya Province, Turkey. The site, 21 kilometres north-northwest of Kumluca, is overgrown with forest and hard to reach.[3]

Idebessos, Idebessus
Idebessos - Sarcophagi with shield and spear
A tomb of the exedra type in Idebessos/Idebessus
Idebessos is located in Turkey
Shown within Turkey
Alternative nameEdebessus, Edebessos
LocationKozağacı, Antalya Province, Turkey
Coordinates36°33′17″N 30°12′08″E / 36.55472°N 30.20222°ECoordinates: 36°33′17″N 30°12′08″E / 36.55472°N 30.20222°E
Length360 m (1,180 ft)
Width160 m (520 ft)
Area5.76 ha (14.2 acres)


The city lies at an altitude of 1050 meters. Due to the nature of the terrain, the city was built in a north-south orientation and occupies approximately 360 by 160 meters. Larger public buildings and the necropolis were built on flatter areas in the west, while dwellings were mostly built on the sloping part of the terrain in the east. The eastern slope is widened by terrace walls at different elevations, which provided narrow corridors with primarily houses.[4]


Except for a coin from the Classical period, which has been controversially attributed to the city, there is no evidence of the city's existence before the Hellenistic period. Idebessos was a member of the Lycian League from its foundation in 168 BC. Inscriptions mention that the city was a polis and a member of a sympoliteia with Akalissos and Kormos. The sympoliteia was led by Akalissos and represented by a single vote in the Lycian League during the Roman period.[4]

A Lycian town named Edebessus (Ἐδεβησσός) is mentioned by the Lycian Capito in his Isaurica,[5] an 8-volume history of Isauria.[6][7] The Synecdemus lists Elebesus (Ἐλεβεσός), corrected to "Edebessus" (Ἐδεβησσός) in Wesseling's 1735 edition, while Parthey's 1866 edition suggests that it may correspond to the Λεβισσός or Λιβυσσός (Lebissus or Libyssus) mentioned in the Notitiae Episcopatuum.[8] A report on archaeological investigations in 2005 also presumed an identity of Idebessus with the bishopric town of Lebissos or Lemissos.[4] However, the list of titular sees (formerly residential) that are recognized by the Catholic Church includes both Idebessus (identified with modern Kozağacı) and Lebessus (identified with modern Kayaköy) and describes each as a suffragan of the metropolitan see of Myra, the capital of the Roman province of Lycia.[9]

The city was still occupied in the Byzantine period, and it is not known when the city was deserted.[4]

Archaeological investigations

T. A. B. Spratt identified the ruins of the city as the remains of Idebessos in 1842. In two days he surveyed the site and copied some inscriptions.[10] Over time numerous other scholars visited the archaeological site for smaller investigations, but it was not until the 2000s that a detailed survey of all the remains was completed.[4]


A main street entered the city to the west of the acropolis and then ran north. From the south to the north a Greek theater, a bath-gymnasium complex and a church are found along this road. The public center of the settlement is the area between the theater and the baths. A wide flat area between these buildings must have served as the agora.[4]

The necropolis extends uninterrupted along the main street and is most dense in the city's center, which is quite unusual. Normally necropoleis were located along the main roads leading to the city and end outside the settlement. The baths, theater, northern church and the necropolis have been reasonably well preserved, but most of the houses are damaged to a level that it is not possible to determine their layout.[4]


The acropolis covers an area of 120 by 150 meters in the southeast of the settlement, rising approximately 10 meters above the city's center. The northern and western sides of the acropolis were protected with walls reinforced with three towers. The eastern and southern sides of the acropolis were naturally protected by steep rock faces and had a terrace wall. A heroon from the Roman period and a Byzantine church from the 5th or 6th century AD were built on the acropolis.[4]

In the Byzantine period the acropolis was transformed to a castrum with stronger fortifications. It encircled the church and was constructed with building material partially reused from the structures of the Roman period. It must have been built in the 7th or 8th century AD, when the region was subject to increasing Arab raids as a consequence of the Arab–Byzantine wars.[4]

Other structures

The Greek theater dates to the Hellenistic period. It was built into the northwestern slope of the acropolis hill and has been estimated to seat a maximum of 364 people. The bath-gymnasium complex was most likely built no later than the 2nd century AD and consists of seven separate units and a palaestra. The baths were supplied with water from a stream to the north of the city by a small canal. The northern church is the largest church of the settlement, measuring about 15.30 by 28.15 meters and likely built in 5th or 6th century AD. A small triconch church is found south in the city, but is completely ruined. It was possibly built later than the two other churches. The necropolis counts 51 sarcophagi and four exedra-type tombs.[4]


  1. ^ William Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), s.v. Edebessus
  2. ^ Westermann, A (1839). Stephani Byzantii Ἐθνικῶν quae supersunt. Leipzig: Teubner. p. 115. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  3. ^ "Idebessos Lycia, Turkey" in The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Kızgut, İsa; Süleyman, Bulut; Çevik, Nevzat (2009). "An East Lycian City: Idebessos". Adalya. 12: 145–172.
  5. ^ Cramer, John Anthony (1832). A Geographical and Historical Description of Asia Minor. Oxford: University Press. p. 266. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  6. ^ John Lemprière, A Classical Dictionary (1839)
  7. ^ George Crabb, Universal Historical Dictionary, vol. 1 (1833)
  8. ^ Parthey, Gustav (1866). Hieroclis Synecdemus et Notitiae Graecae Epistopatuum. Berlin. p. 30.
  9. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), pp. 908 and 915
  10. ^ Spratt, T. A. B.; Forbes, Edward (1847). Travels in Lycia, Milyas and the Cibyratis. 1. London: John van Voorst. pp. 168–170.

Acalissus or Akalissos (Greek: Ἀκαλισσός) was a town of ancient Lycia, an early bishopric, and remains a titular see of the Roman Catholic Church. Coins were minted at Acalissus, some of which are housed at numismatic collections.Acalissus was situated on the middle course of the river Limyros in the eastern part of the Roman province of Lycia. Stephanus of Byzantium and Hierocles make mention of it. Minor variations in the spelling of its name are found in the records: Ἀκαλισσός, Ἀκαλισός, Ἀκαμισός, Ἀκαλλισσός.

It was for long politically united with Idebessos, its neighbour to the west. The bishopric of Acalissus appears, in a low order of importance, among the suffragans of the metropolitan see of Myra in the Notitia Episcopatuum of Pseudo-Epiphanius, written during the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius (610–641), and in that of Basil the Armenian, composed between 820 and 842, but is absent in later records. No longer a residential bishopric, Acalissus is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see.

Antalya Province

Antalya Province (Turkish: Antalya ili) is located on the Mediterranean coast of south-west Turkey, between the Taurus Mountains and the Mediterranean sea.

Antalya Province is the centre of Turkey's tourism industry, attracting 30% of foreign tourists visiting Turkey. Its capital city of the same name was the world's third most visited city by number of international arrivals in 2011, displacing New York. Antalya is Turkey's biggest international sea resort. The province of Antalya corresponds to the lands of ancient Pamphylia to the east and Lycia to the west. It features a shoreline of 657 km (408 mi) with beaches, ports, and ancient cities scattered throughout, including the World Heritage Site Xanthos. The provincial capital is Antalya city with a population of 1,001,318.

Antalya is the fastest-growing province in Turkey; with a 4.17% yearly population growth rate between years 1990–2000, compared with the national rate of 1.83%. This growth is due to a fast rate of urbanization, particularly driven by tourism and other service sectors on the coast.


Ariassus or Ariassos (Ancient Greek: Άριασσός) was a town in Pisidia, Asia Minor built on a steep hillside about 50 kilometres inland from Attaleia (modern Antalya).


Caloe was a town in the Roman province of Asia. It is mentioned as Kaloe or Keloue in 3rd-century inscriptions, as Kalose in Hierocles's Synecdemos (660), and as Kalloe, Kaloe, and Kolone in Parthey's Notitiæ episcopatuum, in which it figures from the 6th to the 12fth or 13th century.


Cestrus was a city in the Roman province of Isauria, in Asia Minor. Its placing within Isauria is given by Hierocles, Georgius Cyprius, and Parthey's (Notitiae episcopatuum). While recognizing what the ancient sources said, Lequien supposed that the town, whose site has not been identified, took its name from the River Cestros and was thus in Pamphylia. Following Lequien's hypothesis, the 19th-century annual publication Gerarchia cattolica identified the town with "Ak-Sou", which Sophrone Pétridès called an odd mistake, since this is the name of the River Cestros, not of a city.


Cidyessus (Κιδύησσος) was a city of some importance, west of Ammonia in west-central Phrygia, in the territory of the Setchanli Ova, or Mouse Plain; this large and fertile valley projects far into Phrygia Salutaris, but the city was in Phrygia Pacatiana.Its site has been determined by an inscription to be modern Küçükhüyük in Turkey, west of Afyonkarahisar. The old native name may have been Kydessos, though it is Kidyessos on its coins.


Cotenna was a city in the Roman province of Pamphylia I in Asia Minor. It corresponds to modern Gödene, near Konya, Turkey.


Cyaneae (Ancient Greek: Κυανέαι; also spelt Kyaneai or Cyanae) was a town of ancient Lycia, or perhaps three towns known collectively by the name, on what is now the southern coast of Turkey. William Martin Leake says that its remains were discovered west of Andriaca. The place, which is at the head of Port Tristomo, was determined by an inscription. Leake observes that in some copies of Pliny it is written Cyane; in Hierocles and the Notitiae Episcopatuum it is Cyaneae. To Spratt and Forbes, Cyaneae appeared to be a city ranking in importance with Phellus and Candyba, but in a better state of preservation. No longer a residential bishopric, Cyanae is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see.


Docimium, Docimia or Docimeium (Greek: Δοκίμια and Δοκίμειον) was an ancient city of Phrygia, Asia Minor where there were famous marble quarries.


Drizipara (or Druzipara, Drousipara. Drusipara) now Karıştıran (Büyükkarıştıran) in Lüleburgaz district was a city and a residential episcopal see in the Roman province of Europa in the civil diocese of Thrace. It is now a titular see of the Catholic Church.


Hisarlik (Turkish: Hisarlık, "Place of Fortresses"), often spelled Hissarlik, is the modern name for an ancient city in modern day located in what is now Turkey (historically Anatolia) near to the modern city of Çanakkale. The unoccupied archaeological site lies approximately 6.5 km from the Aegean Sea and about the same distance from the Dardanelles. The archaeological site of Hisarlik is known in archaeological circles as a tell. A tell is an artificial hill, built up over centuries and millennia of occupation from its original site on a bedrock knob.

It is believed by many scholars to be the site of ancient Troy, also known as Ilion.


Kitanaura (Ancient Greek: Κιτάναυρα) or Kithanaura was an ancient city in Lycia. Its ruins are located near Saraycık, a small village in the Kumluca district of Antalya Province, Turkey.


Kumluca is a town and district of Antalya Province on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, part of the Turkish Riviera. Kumluca is located 90 km (56 mi) west of the city of Antalya, on the Teke Peninsula, (between the bays of Antalya and Fethiye). Its neighbour towns are Korkuteli, Elmalı, Finike, Kemer and Antalya

The town of Kumluca, formerly the village of Sarıkavak, is named for its sandy soil (kum meaning sand in Turkish), good for growing watermelons.


Lyrbe (spelled Lyrba in the 1910 Catholic Encyclopedia; Ancient Greek: Λύρβη) was a city and episcopal see in the Roman province of Pamphylia Prima and is now a titular see.


Phellus (Ancient Greek: Φέλλος, Turkish: Phellos) is an town of ancient Lycia, now situated on the mountainous outskirts of the small town of Kaş in the Antalya Province of Turkey. The city was first referenced as early as 7 BC by Greek geographer and philosopher Strabo in Book XII of his Geographica (which detailed settlements in the Anatolia region), alongside the port town of Antiphellus; which served as the settlement's main trade front.

Its exact location, particularly in regard to Antiphellus, was misinterpreted for many years. Strabo incorrectly designates both settlements as inland towns, closer to each other than is actually evident today. Additionally, upon its rediscovery in 1840 by Sir Charles Fellows, the settlement was located near the village of Saaret, west-northwest of Antiphellus. Verifying research into its location in ancient text proved difficult for Fellows, with illegible Greek inscriptions providing the sole written source at the site. However, Thomas Abel Brimage Spratt details in his 1847 work Travels in Lycia that validation is provided in the words of Pliny the Elder, who places Phellus north of Habessus (Antiphellus' pre-Hellenic name).


Rhodiapolis (Ancient Greek: Ῥοδιάπολις), also known as Rhodia (Ῥοδία) and Rhodiopolis (Ῥοδιόπολις), was a city in ancient Lycia. Today it is located on a hill northwest of the modern town Kumluca in Antalya Province, Turkey.

Stratonicea (Lydia)

Stratonicea – (Greek: Στρατoνικεια, or Στρατονίκεια) also transliterated as Stratoniceia and Stratonikeia, earlier Indi, and later for a time Hadrianapolis – was an ancient city in the valley of the Caicus river, between Germe and Acrasus, in Lydia, Anatolia; its site is currently near the village of Siledik, in the district of Kırkağaç, Manisa Province, in the Aegean Region of Turkey.


Tyana (Ancient Greek: Τύανα; Hittite Tuwanuwa) was an ancient city in the Anatolian region of Cappadocia, in modern Kemerhisar, Niğde Province, Central Anatolia, Turkey. It was the capital of a Luwian-speaking Neo-Hittite kingdom in the 1st millennium BC.

Üçayaklı ruins

The Üçayaklı ruins are in Mersin Province, Turkey.

Black Sea
Central Anatolia
Eastern Anatolia


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