Wednesday, May 26, 2010


The local ruin around Dalyan is a place called Kaunos. Back in the day, its inhabitants were known for either their greenish or yellowish pallor (historical accounts vary), because of their proximity to the local swamp and all the interesting diseases with which they were blessed. Their government differed from those of most cıty-states in that they worshipped their leader as a demi-god. Yeah, this wasn't Greece; it was Caria. Like neighboring Lycia, all kinds of weird stuff went down. They even had their own language. When the Persians came through taking things over, many couldn't see what the big deal was all about and others fought to the death. Anyhow, getting to Kaunos is fun: you walk up to the fat guy at the dock, give him 3.5 lira and he has either his son or his mother row you across. The kid who rowed me was Dennis, which is quite a popular Turkish name. I've met two others in the last few days. When Dennis got done rowing, I set off for Kaunos. It was about a 15 minute walk. Some of the site is excavated and (groan) reconstructed using contemporary materials, but much of it is just a bunch of rocks lying around. Here's what it looks like:

Here's some stuff just sittin' around:

Like so many cities of that time, Kaunos' decline began when its harbor silted up. Plus, most of the classical world was kind of freaked out by its residents' appearance. If anything though, I'm ready to heap praise on them for those lovely rock tombs. Let's look at them again:

This is one very nice place, but to tell the truth, I miss all the crazy people and sirens. I'm sure they'll still be there when I get back.

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