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ARCYANDA

ARYCANDA ANCIENT CITY

Antalya ProvinceTurkey / ANATOLIA

Arycanda or Arykanda  is an Ancient Lycian city, former bishopric and present Catholic titular see in Antalya Province in the Mediterranean Region of Turkey.

Arykanda was a rich but remote city built upon five large terraces high on a mountain slope, today located near the small modern village of Aykiriçay on the Elmalı-Finike road.

The excellent state of preservation is due to its remote location and the city's early abandonment. The site has been partly excavated and restored by an Ankara University team

Arycanda is known to be one of the old Lycian cities, as its name ends with -anda, indicative of its Anatolian origin; dating back as far as the 2nd millennium BC.

The oldest remains and finds from the city date from the 6th or 5th century BC. Archaeological evidence suggests it became a town in the third century BC, when it gained typically Greek monuments including an agora, bouleuterion, a small stadium, temples and eventually a beautiful theatre.

Map of the lands of Carian Civilisation (red part) & the other ancient civilisations in Asia minor

Arykanda_State_Agora

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Arcyanda State Agora

The city was at its most prosperous in the Roman period. Its wealth is thought to have come from passing trade and timber from the nearby forests. It had no city walls to defend it, only a single watchtower at the highest point of the town being a potentially defensive feature.

It was severely damaged by an earthquake in the 3rd century AD after which it was partially abandoned, although parts survived and prospered. Early Christian basilicas were built through to Byzantine times of the 6th century when the settlement moved to a new site south of the modern road called Arif (or Aruf) in archaeological literature (to distinguish it from the older site).

Arycanda_Trajaneum

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Arycanda Trajaneum

Since it was in the Roman province of Lycia, the bishopric of Arneae was a suffragan of the metropolitan see of Myra, the province's capital. The Second Council of Nicaea (787) were signed on behalf of the absent bishop of Arycanda by his deacon Petrus. Another bishop of Arycanda, Theodorus, took part in the Photian Council of Constantinople (879).

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Sights

The Acropolis houses Hellenistic and older remains of the site which include the temple of Helios, bouleuterion, prytaneion, upper agora withs its shops, and several excavated houses.

The lower city houses most of the Roman remains and include 7 bath houses of various sizes. A monumental bath complex on the lowest terrace, still virtually intact in its sequence of arches, is in the same complex as the gymnasium. The baths may have been a centre of attraction for tourists from the coast who came to the city to cool off, as the population was too small for so many baths.

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Arykanda

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