Bothroi in the Sacred Sanctuary of Demeter at Caunus
Keywords: Kaunos, Bothros, Demeter, Thesmophoria, Church, Hydria, Terracotta, kerosene lamp
At Caunos, in the sacred precinct of Demeter, a great number of deposits have been found during the earlier and ongoing excavations. These deposits have been found in two different locations; one being on the sacred terrace and the other one outside the sacred precinct. While one of the deposits outside the sacred precinct excavated to the north of terrace in the early 1970's was built in the shape of a small and deep structure with roughly shaped stones, the deposit to the west and adjacent to the terrace was completely formed by stuffing the rock cavities, without any type of architectural arrangement. Likewise, on the terrace of church and in the area the earliest church of Kaunos is situated, different deposits were found. Among these, two are smaller in size and adjacent to the wall of church. While one of them is sloppily formed in the shape of a grave by roughly cutting the cavities in the rocky area, the other one is formed cutting the upper part of the bedrock in an approximately square shape. However the foundation of the church was completely formed by filling the cavities of the bedrock. It still hasn't been determined where and how these finds were deposited in these areas. But as far as it's known, these areas were used from Late Archaic Period to the midst of the Early Hellenistic Period. lnterestingly, these finds were uncovered in a mixed manner. For example a larger size terracotta head which is, so far, one of the rare archaic finds, has been found immediately in the upper section. In the same way, the finds which are dated to the Early Hellenistic Period can be unearthed in the lower sections. As a result, it is hard to determine the date and the pattern of these deposits. While the finds which are dated back to the Archaic Period and to the Early Hellenistic Period are few, especially the finds from the Late Classic Period, and finds from the 4th century B.C. are more common. The finds from the Middle and the Late Hellenistic Periods and the Roman Period have not been recovered yet. Likewise the finds which can be dated back to Byzantine Period consist of only a few and small glazed sherds. It is concluded that this area occupied by the earliest church of Kaunos was never used during the Christian Era and the construction of the church itself was never finished. However, this area must have remained as a sacred precinct in varying densities of use from the archaic period to the mid-Christian Era.