Category: Ancient Harbour / Site
Civilisation: Lycian / Roman
Andriake - Ancient City of Lycian Union
It is an ancient city which is a city of faith in the city of Myra in Çayağzı, Demre District of Antalya Province.
When I went a few years ago I was in a view of a place that had been completely delivered to their fate. Although it is obvious that the excavation is being done in some way, I noticed that there is no protection measure and no access control. After the years, many things have changed. Excavations were held and a protected ancient site with oppropriate acces control was presented to the eyes of the history fans. Now, The "Lycian Civilizations Museum" can also be visited in the section where the excavations still continue & you can watch the ongoing excavations in the ancient site.
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The city is known as the port of Myra which is another but bigger city closeby. However, it is reported that there were an ancient city called Andriake at the mouth of andriakos (Kokarçay) river in BC. 197 . It is known that the area was belonging to Ptolemaios of the Hellenic dynasty before Lycians. In Livius, Andriake's name is counted among the southern Lycian cities.
When Traian stayed in Myra, he wanted to build a beautiful harbor in the south of Lycia. But the planning and implementation belongs to the time of the Roman emperor Hadrianus. In 18, the visit of Germanicus and his wife Agrippa to Myra was honored with the statues erected in Andriake. Andriake Antique City is located on both sides of the creek. When proceeding to the ancient city, if you chose left you arrive at the edited area. If you do not deviate to this area and continue straight, you can see the remains on the right side in the reeds and under the sand dunes. This section is not yet fully regulated. On the Demre-Kaş Road, the ancient structure you will see right on the Çayağzı turnout is the monumental fountain of this city.
A point that attracs attention was the ground of the excavated areas. As you can see from the picture above, the lower layers of the ground was not soil. The mass that you see is not clearly visible, but the layers are completely consist of tiny sea shells which were carried to the port area during centuries by sea and the river. An incredible amount of the remains of the crustaceans overlapping the alluviums of the river and the sea in centuries.
Another theory is that Andriake was a producing center of famous ''Tyrian Purple'' dye extract which was produced by using the inner part of a special type of sea shell and thus the seashells at the area were the remains of the used and stored seashells. That extremely expensive and hard to make color is also known the symbol of Roman and Byzantine nobility.
Click for''Tyrian Purple'' page for more info about the dye
The structures in the arranged section can be visited as two separate churches, East and Western baths, Port Agora, Cistern, Synagogue and Granarium, which are used as museum buildings, and Port Buildings. In the hall at the entrance of the ruins, a promotional film about the Lycian Civilizations can be seen.