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Category:         Ancient City

Civilisation:      Lycia


Ancient Lycian City 

Trebenna (Τρεβέννα) or Trabenna (Τραβέννα) was a city in ancient Lycia, at the border with Pamphylia, and at times ascribed to that latter region.  Its ruins are located east of the modern town Çağlarca in the Konyaaltı district of Antalya Province, Turkey. The site lies 22 km to the west of Antalya.
The city's name is only known through coins and inscriptions. The name is mentioned for the first time in history on the Stadiasmus Patarensis, a Roman milestone excavated at Patara and dating from 45/46 AD in the reign of Claudius. There is no evidence for the existence of the city during the Hellenistic period. Under Roman rule the city was part of the Lycian League.


Outdoor Tracking Route

by wikiloc


The only coins excavated at the site bear the image of Gordian III, who granted the city the right to mint coins. An inscription dated to 278/279 AD states that the city was designated as a Roman colony during the rule of Terentius Marcianus, the governor of the Roman province of Lycia-Pamphylia at that time Under the Byzantine Empire the city became part of Pamphylia.

Trebenna's pre-Roman name does not have any connection with ancientGreek or Latin – being a local name. In the valley just below the city are traces of pre-historic settlements and it seems reasonable to suggest that there was almost certainly asettlement of some unknown size established in this place long before the Roman period.The site was divided into the acropolis, the city centre, necropolii and the extramuralareas. The remains extend over a wide area, bounded by the Elmin region on the north slopes of Sivridağ to the south, to the east the last terrace structures and a few tombs inthe valley lying to the east of the acropolis, to the west, the west end of the İrimli necropolis, and to the north, the north end of the acropolis.


Translation of Some of the inscriptions on the sarchophagis are as follows.

      ''Zotikos, liberated  from Trokondas the son of Sarpedon, made this sarcophagus for himself, his wife and their children and made the osthotek for this slave and the children of this slave.''


    ''Hermasta of Trebenna, daughter of Orkondasis made this sarcophagus only for himself and the ostothek for the members of his family.''

     ''Aurelius Kopo… had this sarcophagus made in accordance with the law for himself, for his wife Themison, for his daughter Aurelius Hermesta and for his servant adopted as a child Aurelius Mamaksos and for his freed slaves.''

Byzantine Church Trebenna

The Roman and Byzantine buildings are clustered in the area between the side of theElmin necropolis and the fortified acropolis that is accessed via a monumental gate. The acropolis would have been the site of the original settlement, probably of Hellenistic origin. In the Roman period the acropolis was rearranged and was occupied by houses andsome public structures. These houses mostly are of a hybrid character, partially rock-cut, and most of them continued in use during the Byzantine period, with somechanges and renovations. Even the chapel on the slope of the acropolis was rebuilt uponthe rock-hewn parts of a former hybrid structure. Most of the Byzantine fortifications wereerected upon the remains of earlier fortifications and the traces of the monumental gateway to the former fortifications are clearly discernible on the rocks. However, it is not possible to entirely follow the course of the city walls

In the valley and ridge descending down from the slope of the acropolis there are wideterraces creating a square with Roman period public structures. As these structures were located successfully in respect to the topography, their organic connections were established, and the land was used with the greatest efficiency. Along the west side of the city square are the Ecclesiasterion, the Imperial Hall (Sebasteion) and the Stoa, side by side facing southeast. Opposite them is the agora. To the south is the baths, the only public struc-ture erected on the slope of the Elmin necropolis. The agora extending eastward from themeeting hall and other related buildings fills the first terrace. The flat area forming its extension is full of numerous architectural pieces; however, in later periods it was arranged as a round square changing the positions of everything. It is not possible to understand whatkind of buildings these pieces formerly belonged to, but it can be understood they werebuildings of a high quality. This terrace terminates in a semicircular building. Other terracesdescending into the valley reach to the large magazine building cutting the valley across ina north-south direction. Beyond this structure there are only a few tombs. The wide hillsidebetween here and the acropolis is entirely filled with buildings and was a residential area.The Roman city centre was built in the golden age in the 2nd- 3rd centuries A.D.


When the remains were explored, it was seen that the settlement developed very slow-ly and did not experience major changes for centuries. Evaluating the clustering and thedistribution of the architectural remains, the Roman period settlement outside the fortifica-tions was well developed, however, it is possible to say that Kelbessos never participatedin the real process of urbanisation but rather stayed as a second degree military provincialsettlement throughout its history. Theabsence of large sized public buildings within the walls indicates a settlement lacking the characteristic features of a city and from the large number of cisterns and tombs, as wellas prevalence of military motifs, it can be said that a large number of soldiers were settled here during the Roman period. However, the military presence here began during theHellenistic period when the fortifications were constructed.


To the south and west of the acropolis there are three main necropolii spread aroundthe settlement. On the rock of the acropolis are all rock-cut tombs; at İrimli are the tombs mainly of the nobility; and at Elmin there are sarcophagi, rock-cut sarcophagi and ostotheks belonging to the middle and lowerclasses. Dereözü, too, contains tombs of the middle and lower classes, but they are fewerin number. About 200 sarcophagi were identified in the necropolii of Trebenna. The mostoriginal tombs found at Trebenna were the “circular rock-cut ostotheks”. These tombs thatare peculiar to Trebenna are cylindrical basins cut into the rock, covered by carved bell-shaped stone lids; they were first documented here and they were added to the typology  of Anatolian tombs. The other surprise was a tomb type not even found at Termessos



2-Çevik, Nevzat (2008). "Northeast Lycia. The New Evidence - The Results from the past ten years from the Bey Mountains Surface Surveys"

3-The Belen and Kelbessos farmstead with towers on the border of pisidia-lycia and some thoughts on security in the countryside. Süleyman Bulut. Akdeniz University Faculty Member

4-The Social Structure as Reflected Through the Necropolii of Trebenna.  NEVZAT ÇEVİK Akdeniz University Faculty Member




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