ISSN: 0041-4255
e-ISSN: 2791-6472


Test excavations at Caunos were started in 1966 on behalf of the Faculty of letters, Ankara University, with the help of general directorate of Ancient Works and Museums of the Ministry of Education.

The research work which actually lasted three weeks in October was led by the author[1]. Dr. Peter Herrmann, our epigrapher, partici-pated briefly in our operations this year. Other members of the team consisted of Oktay Pasinli, Süheyl Ünal, Seyhan Doruk, Ali Dağdeviren, İnci Üçer, Sevinç Yılmaz and Orhan Gürman.

The ancient city of Caunos is situated across the village of Dalyan, on the creek of Dalyan, anciently called Calbis, which connect the present lake of Köyceğiz to the sea. The city of Caunos which is geographically located on the border between Caria and Lycia was independent and an important center during the Persian war according to information learned from Herodotus[2]. We also observe from various historical records that the dependent cities nearby served as export harbour. On the other hand, according to the early authors, the city of Caunos was a city of Caria during the middle of forth century[3]. The city of Caunos which attracted attention as a result of articles published by Bean following his several trips to the area, was visited by various historians[4]. But the city of Caunos, as Bean stated, has been neglected by excavators for some unexplained reason.

Research work was started in three separate locations as follows:

A. Around an ancient building near the harbour which was later understood to be a Stoa.

B. West-south city gate located south of walls encircling west of the city, for the purpose of investigating the walls of the city.

C. The tombs.


The city is a large one. It was also largely inhabited during the Roman Period as indicated by the remnants of the theatre, bath and various other buildings near the harbour, such as the remainder of the customshouse[5] which furnished significant data as regards to economy in the ancient period, and by the inscriptions. It was only natural that difficulty should be anticipated in research work to be carried out in a city which was inhabited several times, especially from the standpoint of choosing the place of initial work. In spite of difficulties anticipated, inscriptions discovered near the harbour which was protected with a chain[6] in the old days (fig. 1 )[7] and a wall which is understood to have survived from ancient periods but still in good condition of which a small sections is visible and located underneath a Roman wall on the side of a country road crossing the city towards the village of present Çandır, indicated that this was the best place to start excavations. Customs house mentioned above[8] is also located near this wall. For this reason we have started digging at this point for the purpose of uncovering this wall[9] by following its length. The façade facing the harbour on the south was very smooth. Excavations were first started on this side. As digging progressed, it was observed that the wall extended from cast to west. In the end it became clear that this was the back wall of a stoa approximately 94 metre long. East and west corners and the sides have been uncovered. In view' of presence of entrances on two narrow sides (fig. 4) it resembles the stoa of Attalos II in the Athenian Agora[10].

We do not know whether there was an exedra in our stoa as in the Attalos Stoa. No such thing was observed on the eastern side (fig. 5) but on the western narrow' side at the edge of entrance (fig. 4) extending to the west a wall was established. It is quite possible that this was the wall of the exedra on this side. The stoa faces the harbour in the south. On the foundation of the back wall of the stoa which was cleared remains three row's of stones, first rowbeing thin, second one rather thick (0,51 ) and the third, a thin row' (0,28 m.) (fig. 6).

The system of a thick row between two thin rows in wall constructions is also observed on the internal side of the wall of stoa of Attalos II[11], and in the back wall belonging to the west wing the stoa facing the Lions harbour of northern Agora at Miletus[12].

When a comparison is made between our stoa and the harbour stoa at Miletus and the stoa of Attalos II, interesting figures and features will be observed.

The Attalos II stoa: This building has two stories[13] and two ships with 6,57 meter and the other 6.27 meter breadth. It has two small entrances on the sides.

Its length including exedras is accepted as being 116 meters. But its actual length is stated as being 97.35 meter[14].

Milct harbour stoa west wing: It has one story built on pressed earth floor[15] with a width of 6.29 meter. The thickness of the back wall is 0.59 meter[16] and diameter of columns at the base is 0.67 meter[17].

Stoa at Caunos (fig. 4) : It has an internal width of 6.30 meter[18], single ship and two small doors on the sides (fig. 4.5). Its length is 94 meters and thickness of its back wall is 98 meter, and the thickness of the ante walls on the sides of the doors is 0,75 meter. The floor is of pressed earth. The diameter at base of column in Dor Style found in situ on the west (fig. 7) is 0.75 meter.

We can deduct the following conclusions from the figures given above: The stoa in Caunos has about the same length as that of stoa of Attalos II in Athens[19]. It’s width excluding the shops is almost the same as those of the stoa of Miletus Harbour and of stoa of Attalos. In view of presence of entrances on both sides İt resembles the stoa of Attalos II as stated above. We had also indicated that the technique of construction in all three stoa walls were similar.

Naturally, these individual similarities in themselves do not mean much. In order to obtain more concrete information about the Caunos stoa, we have to wait for the discovery of upper sections of the edifices such as the columnar heads, architrave, etc., which are not yet available. At the present time we can state that the Caunos stoa had two stories in view of the fact that the wall of Caunos stoa was much thicker than that of stoa at Miletus (0.98 m versus 0.59 m) and that the diameter of the columns at Caunos stoa were larger then that of Miletus stoa (0.75 m. versus 0.67 m)[20] (see footnote 17). As a matter of fact, the back wall of the first floor of the Assos stoa[21] which had two stories, two ships and was 12.42 m wide, was close to one meter thick[22] and the diameter at base of columns in front was approximately 0.75 m.[23]

On the other hand, external faces of the walls of Caunos stoa were bossy in general, as observed on the walls pertaining to Helenistic Period (fig. 5,8 a-b). In fact a close similarity is observed from the standpoint of a wall construction technique when internal and external looks of the stage wall of Priene Theatre and the Caunos stoa are compared[24]. The only difference is that the stones of Caunos were more coarsely cut.

We belive it is too early to make a statement regarding the purpose of Caunos stoa since there are no shops behind or no ware-houses underneath, and it could not have been used for commercial purposes only.

On the other hand this stoa, as the stoa facing the Harbour of Lions at the northern agora in Miletus, also faces the harbour. The customs house is very close to this stoa (see note 8). Official buildings such as Bouieuterion and Ecclesiasterion were also near the stoa.

In front of the stoa two monumental bases built on the east-south corner were discovered (fig. 9). The inscription on the stone uncovered in an inverted position in front of the smaller monument describes that the people of Caunos respected and glorified the Romans[25]. All of these findings indicate with great probability that the site of our excavation İs the agora. The stoa in process of being unco-vered at Caunos must have a definite position and purpose as the northern stoa of the agora in Assos.

The bases uncovered in front of stoa closely resemble those of various agoras such as in Miletus[26], Priene[27], Assos[28] and other cities.

It is quite possible, as mentioned by R. Martin[29], that other stoas which are characteristic for this period of agoras, will be unco-vered at other sites in excavations to be carried out in the coming years. On the other hand, we must keep in mind that Caunos is not as large a center as Athens or Miletus. However, the fact that our stoa had most probably two stories verify the view' expressed by Martin that multi-storied stoas did occupy an important position in agoras[30] in the Hellenistic period.

Studying the area in the north of the stoa wall found in Caunos seem to us just as important as studying the front portion of the wall in south. The reason for this is that many of the inscriptions[31] published by Bean were discovered here. In this locality a long and narrow experimental trench was at first opened running in a north-south direction perpendicular to the stoa wall. Most of the stone fragments pertaining to the foundation of a building from late periods consisted of the many statue bases from probably B.C. 3th century[32] (fig. 10). In spite of many bases discovered there unfortunately no statue was found. It is higly probable that the excavations to be carried out in this area shall be efficient especially in view of obtaining inscribed documents. But it is understood that the architectural remnants were destroyed by more recent buildings as seen in figure 10. Moreover, main layer of rock is found at a level of 0.80- 1.50 meter from the surface.


Our team has placed importance in the search for the city wall which was greatly problematic and just as interesting, besides the area housing the stoa[33].

Various paths leading to Çandır from Dalyan converge at a point near the southern end of the wall encircling west of Caunos and then reach Çandır after passing through a gate of the old city there. We have established during the studies made to determine the position of this gate, that the two sides were constructed by using large blocks of stone which were 2.13 meter apart at the entrance point from the outside. The passage through the gate widens by 15 cm. on both sides at 0,46 m. (fig. 10 b, 11 b). The thickness of the wall at this point is 1.91 meter and it was built with big blocks of stones on the outside. The walls on the sides of the inside gate is laid in with small stones. This inner or second section was built with small stones and is 4.30 m. thick. Thus it is assumed that the walls on both sides of the gate had a thickness of 6.20 m. as a tower.

The external surfaces of the walls on both sides of the gate were bossy, isodoinic, the borders w’ere finely trimmed and many were rectangular with characteristics of Hellenistic Period[34] (fig. 11 a).

The wall on the left hand side of the gate facing west projects as a tower probably to defend the gate. The construction technique of the wall at this point seems different at first glance from the sides of the gate. This wall which was constructed with a poligonal technique is accepted by certain researchers[35] to be older than the walls of Hellenistic Period featuring rectangular bossy forms[36]. On the other hand, Bean and Scranton are of the opinion that this wall was built at a later period - probably late Hellenistic - than the wall with rectangular bossy configurations[37] in view of the fact that the border of some of the wall stones built with polygonal technique were framed with fine trimmings. The centers were roughly trimmed in bossy form and therefore differed from the old polygonal technique[38]. Our studies seem to confirm Scranton’s opinion. It is, however, quite possible that these w'alls may be contemporary despite different techniques of constructions.

Because, as it will be seen in fig. 12a, the wall constructed with rectangular framed bossy stones coincides so well with the wall stones built with polygonal technique where they join at the corner and look so flush that it leaves no doubt that these two walls were built at the same time. Further, the internal surface of the wall falling inside the gate (fig. 11 b) is quite identical with the wall[39] built with rectangular bossy stones as mentioned above from a standpoint of construction. The only difference is that the dimensions of the latter stones arc smaller. As it will be observed in figure 11 and 12B, the city wall on both sides of the gate seems to consist of two walls built either side by side or one behind the other. In fact, the polygonal wall seen in background in fig. 12b seems to have been built later on, on the top of the front wall with rectangular bossy stones. Unfortunately we have been unable to confirm whether or not these walls that seem to be two separate ones built side by side and one on the top of the other are separate walls. However, it will be proper to point out here that the rectangular bossy wall[40] looks much like Hcraklcia (Latmos)[41] and Priene[42] walls within the group called Pseudo – Isodomic[42] by Scranton. But the workmanship of Herakleia and Priene walls is far superior. Walls of Miletus[43] that arc included in another group considered affiliated with this one by Scranton arc similar to these walls in Caunos. The walls in Herakleia, Priene and Miletus arc dated B. C. end of 4 th or beginning 3 rd. Although it was built with a Pseudo - Isodomic technique of this period the stones of the wall of Alinda stoa[44] were much more regularly cut than those of Caunos.

During research work conducted at the gate we have found two lamps[45] from B.C. 3 rd. century' (fig. 15/1 ), some fragments of megarion bowls, some fragments of glass vases from A. D. 1 st. to the 5 th centuries (fig. 15/2) and some items of Roman Pottery which probably were made during later periods.


In 1963 a couros which could be dated to 3 quarter B. C. VI century was found. This men’s statue which is bited in the Bodrum Museum was first discovered by the peasants, then changed hands to some antique dealers, and lastly became property of the above named museum. According to information given by the peasents the statue was found outside of the city gate mentioned in section B above some 15-20 meters on the road to Çandır from the gate in front of the corner where the city wall turns to north again. Couroi which were described in a naked position are thought to be votive offerings erected in a cemetery, temple, etc. The place where cotiros was found is rocky. How and where it came from to this location is not quite known. The peasants stated that they have stepped over the statue of which a section was on the surface for many years without even being aware of its presence. We have been unable to find a clue that there was a cemetery or a temple in the vicinity. It is believed that public buildings such as temples etc. were situated in the vicinity of the customs house and the stoa uncovered near the harbour as mentioned in section A above. On the other hand, information regarding the tombs contained in publications about Caunos is limited to rock tombs and other Lycian type tombs only. But the city must have had another cemetery belonging to other periods and this was to be found.

Our expedition has decided to carry out research work on the buried tombs located outside of the citywall on east-south slope of the hill, east of the harbour, after having been informed that the tombs were being opened by the peasants.

When the excavation was completed two rows of tombs side by side and one on the top of the other were uncovered (fig. 13 a). Inside of the upper tombs was coated with mortar (13b.) These tombs which were close to the surface and dug in on a steep slope were heavily destroyed (fig. 13a and b). One of the tombs in the lower row is described below to have an idea about these tombs.

TOMB No.=1 (fig. 14) :

Internal dimensions are 135 cm. x 55 cm. The head of the tomb on the west rests on the main rock. Pebbles were seen at its bottom. Side walls were built in three irregular rows of stones. Inside height of tomb is 55 cm. Two white stone lids one 80 X to cm. and the other 65 X 10, cover the tomb. The lid stones were joined with mortar on all sides[46]. A skull probably belonging to a child and some small finger bones were found inside the tomb. The other bones of the skeleton were discovered in small fragments and sometimes unidentifiable. The finds also include seven terra-cotta unguentaria (tear bottles) .

We have uncovered three other tombs near this one which were almost identical except for 3 lids covering them. In one of these we found a fragment of terra-cotta vase of which character is not known. Nothing was found in the others. No idea could be formed about the structure (fig. 13) of the upper tombs for they were almost completely damaged.

According to unguentaria[47] (fig. 15/3) found in tomb No. 1, the lower tombs arc of B.C. 2 nd century. It is presently impossible to tell how late a period the upper tombs belong to.

Paavo Roos of Sweden’s Lund university recently studied the tombs at Caunos among others. Results thereof are going to be published in “Opuscula Atheniensia” VIII, 1968. Roos has mainly studied these tombs from an architectural stand point. We have seen the sherds he collected from the tombs at Caunos. This pottery which is kept at Dalyan primary school and at Bodrum museum is of Attic black glaze. They arc mostly crater fragments probably of 2 nd half of 4 th century and indicate the importance of these rock tombs at Caunos. There, it will be possible to obtain useful results from excavations to be made in these rock tombs.


  1. We gratefully acknowledge the kind help extended to us by the Institute of Anadolu and Mediterranian Civilizations and to the Board of Professors, to the Directorate General of Museums and antiquities of The Ministcry of Public Education. We are also indebted to the Governor and to the Director of National Education of Muğla, to the acting County Head of Köyceğiz and to the Director of Primary Education for having facilitated our work. We feel very deeply impressed for the help and modest countribution made out of their limited budget by Köyceğiz Turizm Association.
  2. Herodotus I 172.
  3. Pseudo-Skylax 99. / It is understood that the Hekatomnids, during their Carian domination had manifested a series of constructive efforts (L. Robert, Le Sanctuair d’Amyzon CRAI-1953 p. 414), and that they have become popular in many ways (Droysen, Geschichte des Hellenismus. Tübingen 1952, I. p. 137) and consequently expanded their domination over a large area including Caunos. The above statement by Pseudo-Skyiax that considers Caunos a Carian city, and statue bases belonging to Mausollos and to his father Hekatomnos recently published by Bean (JHS 73, 1953, p. 20 inscriptions Nos. 3 and 4) confirm this idea.
  4. G. E. Bean, Notes and Inscriptions from Caunus JHS 73, 1953 p. 10-35; 74, 1954 p. 85-110 and Bibliography mentioned therein.
  5. H. W. Picket, Note on a Customs-law from Caunus. Mnemosyne II, 1958 p. 128-135. / The inscription on this Customshouse is very important from the stand point that this is perhaps the only document which furnish information about ancient custom regulations and procedures in particular.
  6. Strabo 14, 651; cf. JHS 73, 1953 p. 14 n. 13.
  7. The water pool that looks like a lake is the old harbour mentioned above. The city walls end on the slopes on both sides of the lake, (cf: map on page 12 JHS 73, 1953). It is believed that the two ends of the city walls were linked with a chain to close the harbour. It is noteworthy however that the distance between the ends of the city walls today seems to be too wide to be closed easily with a chain. But if there was a harbour in Caunos which was closed with a chain (see n. 6), it has to be this place. More over the city walls that end on the slopes surrounding the lake seems to confirm this idea. In the picture is the Calbis (Dalyan Creek) seen to meander towards the sea. Beyond the lake, terrain on the sides of the Creek is flat and covered with can thus be guessed that this terrain of which a large part is still swampy belonged to the sea. The terrain seen on east and northeast at the foot of the Acropolis of Caunos (fig. 2) is also flat of which most part consist of reedbed which is covered with water in winter. This implies that Caunos, like many other ancient cities on the Agean coast, was built on a peninsula
  8. See n. 5. It is quite logical that this Customshouse building although belonged to a later period, was erected at the same place as or near public buildings such as agora, etc. as was the custom. In fact this conclusion was confirmed by results obtained from small scale research conducted during the first season.
  9. Located near the point indicated with M in the Chart on page 12 JHS 73, 1953.
  10. W. Judeich, Topographic von Athen. 1931 Handbuch der Altertumswissenschaft III. IIp. 354-356 fig. 44; Hesperia 20, 1951 pl. 24; 25, 1956 pl. 25b. Old bibliography : Judeich, op cit p. 354 n. 3.
  11. Hesperia 20, 1951, pl. 24 a.
  12. Milet I. 6, Pls. l/1, 9/2, 24/2.
  13. If the warehouse section is also included, it would have three stories. (Hesperia 26, 1957, Pl. 30 latest position after restoration).
  14. Judeich, op cit p. 355.
  15. Milet I, 6, p. 13. At first it had one ship but no shops at the back as it was with Caunos stoa. (Milet I, 6, pl. 23) Shops and a new stoa was later on annexed on the west. (Millet I, 6 pls. 24, 27).
  16. Milet I, 6 p. 13, 14 pls. 8, 24/1.
  17. Milet I, 6 p. 5.
  18. The figures given here are not final, but have been furnished for the purpose of giving more clear an idea about the stoa mentioned in this first report issued for the benefit of scientific world, as the early results of research work which lasted three weeks with very limited facilities. We should like to state however that the figures given here are very close to accurate dimensions. The chart (fig. 4) drawn by Mr. Seyhan Doruk, draftsman of our expeditions, and the measurement taken, have been jointly reviewed by us.
  19. R. Martin in mentioning the north west stoa at the Thasos Agora states that “This stoa due to it’s dimensions is placed among monumental columned galleries which are very characteristic of the architectural compositions of classical Greece as was of the temples and the agoras. The Thasos stoa has only one ship in spite of its width of 13,98 m. These statements have of course been said above all to emphasize this characteristic of the stoa. The same can of course be said for its length which is 97,41 m. (R. Martin, L’Agora. Études Thasiennes VI. p. 10.)
  20. Diameter at the bases of columns of north west stoa at Thasos was in fact 0.740-0.745 m. (R. Martin, L’Agora, Études Thasiennes VI. p. 14). But great width of this stoa (13,98 m) necessitated columns of this size (cf. n. 19). This exceptional situation which presented difficulty in covering such a large building with a roof has been discussed by Martin. ((L’Agora p. to etc.)
  21. J. T. Clarke F. H. Bacon, R. Koldewey, Investigations at Assos 33-45.
  22. op cit. 35.
  23. op cit. 45.
  24. T. Wiegand - H. Schrader, Priene Pls. 16 and 18 and fig. 231.
  25. This inscription was discovered after Dr. Herrmann left the excavations. Casts of this and other inscriptions that were subsequently discovered, were sent to him. I am quoting a passage from the letter of our collègue Dr. Herrmann: / “…. auch diese neuen Texte lassen vermuten, dass Sie in der Nähe eines öffentlichen Platzes sind, vielleicht doch der Agora”.
  26. Milet I, 6, fig. I Pls. 11, 22, 25-28.
  27. T. Wiegand- H. Schrader, Priene pis. 12-13. Μ. Schede, Die Ruinen von Priene. Berlin 1964 (Durchgesehen und verbessert von G. Kleiner und W. Kleiss) fig. 57, 68, 69.
  28. Clarke, Bacon, Koldewey, Investigations at Assos. P. 21/cc. 33, fig. 4/7-11, 35 fig· 3/7-11·
  29. R. Martin, Recherches sur l’Agora Grecque. 1951. p. 454 etc.
  30. ibid p. 482.
  31. cf. n. 4.
  32. This dating was made by our Collègue Dr. Herrmann according to the characteristics of writing.
  33. Bean, JHS 73 1953 p. 11-13.
  34. R. L. Scranton, Greek walls (Cambridge Mass 1941) p. 183. D. 16/2; Lanckoronski, Städte Pamphyliens und Pisidiens I p. 60-61 fig. 47-49.
  35. Μ. Collignon, Emplacement et Ruines de la Ville de Caunos. BCH 1887, p. 339; A. Maiuri, Escursioni nella Caria. Rovine die Caunos Annuario 3, 1021. p. 272.
  36. JHS 73, 1953 p 13 fig. 5.
  37. op cit.
  38. op cit. p. 12 and n. 9 and 11.
  39. The wall indicated in n. 36 and the wall in front of our Fig. 12 b.
  40. R. L. Scranton, Greek walls, p. 181-182 Group “D. 10 Pseudo-Isodomic: Quarry to Hammer face.”
  41. Krischen, Die Befestigungen von Herakleia am Latmos. Milet III (Berlin 1922) especially figure 8, 10, 11, 13 and passim; for the date see p. 51.
  42. Wiegand-Schrader, Priene (Berlin 1904) especially p. 41 and 42.
  43. A. V. Gerkan, die Stadt Mauern. Millet II. 3 p. 92 fig. 60 and p. 97 fig. 68.
  44. R. Martin, Recherches sur L’Agora Grecque (Paris 1957) Pls. 7 and 11, for dating see pp. 426-427 and Table I.
  45. These terra-cotta lamps are of the same type described by Howland, that is type 29 B. (R. H. Howland, the Athenean Agora IV. Greek lamps and their survivals. Princeton 1958. p. 96, Pl. 41, No. 415-416) or type 32. ibid, p. 99 pl. 41, No. 425, 429, 432). The former of these was dated by Howland at about 1 st or 2 nd quarter of B. C. 3 rd century (ibid. p. 96) and the latter late second quarter or end of the same period (ibid. p. 99).
  46. This kind of mortar which was observed on the lids of the lower tombs was not probably related to tombs which were built at an earlier date than the upper tombs. They may have been used to smooth the floors of upper tombs with orderly inner wall sand which belonged to a later period.
  47. The sample we have provided here (fig. 15/3) is placed from a viewpoint of configuration between no’s 235-236 - late Hellenistic - found in Tarsus (Tarsus I p 230, fig. 135 and 187) and no’s C 76 and C 77 dated at the begining of B. C. 2 nd century (Hesperia III, 1934 p. 473, p. 368, fig. 52). One specimen of B.C. 1 st century found in Agora of Athens is 34 cm. high. Its trunk was swollen, enlarged and lengthened but lower portion was considerably is distinguished from early Hellenistic specimen by its size and by its ring base (H. S. Robinson, The Athenian Agora V. Pottery of the Roman Period (Princeton 1959) p. 15 pl. 2/F 48). / These unguentaria of Hellenistic Period are 7,5-20 cm. tall and have flat bottoms. Other unguentaria of the Roman Period (ibid pl. 2/F 49 and F 50, pl. 5/G 96 - G 98 and plate 18/M6-M8) arc quite different from ours in respect of their shapes. For this reason it is possible to date those unguentaria found in tombs No. 1 at Caunos at the middle or second half of B. C. 2 nd century.

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