The spectacular ruins of the Lycians in Fethiye, Turkiye

Modern Fethiye in Muğla, Turkiye is a bit of a commercial tourist hub. The water is serene, the food delicious, the leisure boats line the city's edge. Still, the history is remarkably intact. So much so that present day concrete Fethiye has built roads around the ancient tombs to better accommodate them.

A convoluted screenshot I took from Google Maps

The city is built flush against the hillside tombs of this ancient civilization. Mosques, structures from the era of the Trojan war and rooftop clubs that serve alcohol and blast Daddy Yankee are visible within one neat glance of the city. I was unable to capture the three disparate elements on camera myself, so the photos attached below should be regarded as more of a sketch.

Photos: Natalie Dressed

The view from the city temple.

About 40 km away from pleasant but bustling Fethiye sits Pinara, an ancient Lycian city that was once allotted three votes in the Lycian League before it was conquered by Alexander the Great. The former metropolis sprawls a bit up the hills and into the canyon. Most of the buildings are no longer intact, the hillside is full of bits of collumns and other rocks in shapes that indicate human involvement. What does remain, though, are the tombs and the acropolis. 

I shared the place with a distant goatherd. Wind, concerning bleating and a persistent bell were all the company up along the mountainside.

The lycian language is still largely inscrutable. The history of this civilization is full of blank pages where no one's really sure what happened. And what we do know is best left to regional history buffs, a club of which I am reluctantly not a member.

A previous inhabitant left evidence of his passage through this place. What the gesture means exactly is as inscrutable as the Lycian language.