Ruins Of Xanthos

The site spills Into a narrow ravine and is spread out over the two sides here. It has been the subject of many archaeological expeditions, starting In 1838. Two funera! monuments are found in the western edge of the site, near the theater. One of these is the renowned Monument of the Harpies that dates to the 6th century &.C. The Harpies were mythological winds of destruction that emperors would use to their advantage, The monument is a single, monolithic column that rises more than five meters in the air, resting on a two-stepped podium. The funeral chamber was placed at the top of the column, and it once held reliefs of the deceased doing battle. Other of the reliefs show the man and his wife receiving homage from their childem. The original relief slabs were removed by Sir Charles Fellows during on excavation he had undertaken at the site, and were shipped to the British Museum in London, These have since been replaced on the monument with plaster casts of the original. The Harpies depicted on the frieze are shown as sea sirens, smalt female figures who represent the soul of the deceased; from these the monument takes its name.

Near the Harpies Monument is the Xanthian Obelisk, which is another pillar tomb, although the upper section is missing. This carries a long inscription written in the Lyclon language that has still not been satisfactorily deciphered. The famous Nereid monument and shrine that have been uncovered at Xanthos, are in poor condition. The reliefs too were carted off to the British Museum. This also consisted of a high column, topped by a tomb in thé form of an Ionic temple. It dates from about 400 B.C., and only the foundations remain.

Among other monuments at the site of Xanthos are the amphitheater, which dates from the Roman period; the city gate, which was built In the Hellenistic Age the gateway of Emperor Vespasian; and the city agora, which dates from the 2nd or 3rd century A.D. Of the theater, the two vaulted passages leading to the orchestra and seats are still in good condition. Most of the rows of seats are preserved and the cavea is in place. At the site are two acropolises, from the Lycian and Roman occupation. The Lyclan necropolis is to the northeast, on the side of the hill, upon which rest the remains of a Byzantine monastery. Here you will see the city wall section that wos reinforced with remains of the Roman structures. The most interesting of the Lycian tombs are beyond this wall. We find here various sarcophagi with high, arched lids. Several of the tombs are decorated with friezes and framed in lintels.

The Agora was rebuilt during the Roman occupation of Xanthos, very likely In the same area of the original Lycian agora. This was dedicated to twelve Lycian gods, and the Harpies Monument was a part of a portico of the agora, This market place wos arranged on a square, with sides nearly sixty meters long. This complex was surrounded by porticoes. The entrance to the agora was to the east.

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