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alinda

Alinda

Alinda, near the site of ancient Alabanda, reveals some of what are thought to be the finest ruins to come out of Carian antiquity. The city has been identified out of a very unclear past by coins found at the extensive ruins there. It is located at the Turkish town of Karpuzlu. Follow Route Six, running between Aydln end Mu§la, to the Karpuzlu turnoff. This is about □ mile before coming to the town of Qine. Karpuzlu is some fifteen miles from the turnoff.

HISTORY OF ALINDA

Alinda’s history is quite obscure although It was one of the most strongly fortified cities of the Carian region. Nothing has been learned of its origins. The only significant moment in history that has been uncovered was one that occurred at the time of the banishment of Queen Ada, the sister of the Carian king Mausoleus. She had become involved In a dispute with her surviving brother after the death of Mausolus over the rights of succession. She was dethroned and exiled to Alinda in 340 B.C. There she continued her regal way of life and prepared herself to regain her lost throne at a moments notice. She had only a few years to wait before Alexander the Great arrived in Caria, In 334. Ada took advantage of the situation and proposed to make a deal with Alexander. She would surrender to him -the city of Alinda and would help him in his campaign to conquer her brother’s territories. In return, Alexander was to restore thé*throne to Ada. But Alexander, pleased with her attitude and perhaps enthralled just a bit by her feminine charms, refused to take Alinda from Queen Ada, and, instead, made her ruler of all of Caria.

A possible reason for the relative lack of information concerning Alinda may be that its name was changed sometime after the above described incident. Since there were many cities called Alexandria in Anatolia after the coming of Alexander the Greai into, the area, it can be surmised that Afinda, too, took the name of its redeemor. An inscription found in the area derives from the dynasty of Olympichus who had been a general of Seleucus II and controlled the area centering on Mylas for a period in the third century B.C. The inscription honors two people that are thought to have been residents of Alinda. Silver coinage was begun witn Hercules facings around 200 B.C. The city minted coins until the third century A.D.

In the period after Alexander’s campaign, Alinda became rapidly Heilenised and quickly lost her purely Canon character. A Hellenistic theater and a superb market place were constructed. In the time of the Roman Empire, nothing whatever was heard of the city, and the story of exactly what became of Alinda remains as èbscure as her earliest beginnings.

RUINS OF ALINDA

The ruins of Alinda, to the west of Ihe township of Cine are situated on the top of a hill commanding an excellent view of the plain of Karpuzler. No excavations have as yet been undertaken on the Site, but there is much to see ail the same. Several sections of the old walls and some of the towers are preserved in very good condition. The market building- is still remarkably preserved, standing its full length of more than three hundred feet, and most of its original height of fifty feet remains in position as well. The market was composed of three storeys; the topmost of these was level with and accessible from the agora which adjoins it from the north. The agora is a flat area running the whole length of thé market building, over a hundred feet wide. It was surrounded, as was the custom, by a stoa, of which a few columns can still be seen. The theater is almost as well preserved as ihe market building. It was of average size, seventy yards in diameter, with thirty-five rows of seats. The arrangement of the tiers of seats and the Side entrances Is of considerable interest. Also around the town can be seen a number of tombs of the Carian type, both large and small, some ruined, some in near-perfect condition.

The acropolis was mounted atop a steep hid, possibly five hundred feet high, and the whole is surrounded by strong fortification walls which ore in a good state of preservation. Near the summit of the hill is a well-preserved, square tower with two storeys. A tunnel nearby the tower is thought to have led to the theater. Also on top of the acropolis Is a large circular foundation, some fifty feet in diameter. The purpose this played In Alinda remains unknown. Further over from this are the remains of what is thought to have been a small temple.

Another, even higher acropolis is also surrounded by solid walls some seven feet thick at the widest parts. Within this fortified area are the remains of houses and other small buildings. Also here are a row of deep, water cisterns. This second acropolis is linked with the other by a wall with several towers that crosses the low ground between the two. An aqueduct, In good condition can be seen at the site with four of the arches still upright. Although the site of Alinda remains unexcavated, the reminders of the past are numerous and well preserved. A visit to this ancient ruins is highly recommended.

 

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