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BALBURA (Çölkayiği) Turkey.

City in Lycia 6 km SE of Dirmil. When first mentioned (Strab. 631) Balbura appears as a member of a tetrapolis headed by Kibyra, with one vote to Kibyra's two. This tetrapolis was formed at an uncertain date in the 2d c. B.C., and was dissolved by Murena ca. 82 B.C.; Balbura was then attached to the Lycian League, and continued to be a member as long as it lasted. Balbura, Bubon, and Oinoanda are listed by Pliny and Ptolemy as the cities of Kabalia (called Kabalis by Strabo). The coins are Hellenistic of non-League types and imperial of Caligula. Balbura is recorded by Hierokles and in the Byzantine bishopric lists.

The ruins are on two hills and on the plain below. The N hill rises some 125 m above the plain and almost 1500 m above sea level. The summit was defended by a ring wall still standing up to 2.4 m high, built mainly of dry rubble but with a stretch of polygonal masonry near the top, 1.8 m thick; in general the wall is of late date and made of reused material. On the S slope of this hill, facing S, is a small theater of remarkable construction. The cavea contains 16 rows of seats, interrupted in the middle by a large mass of the native rock left unworked, except that the ends of the rows are fitted to it. There is no stage building, but the platform which it would occupy is supported by a high wall of heavily bossed polygonal masonry with buttresses of smooth rectangular blocks. This polygonal work is of Roman date.

At the foot of the S hill is a second theater or theater-like building. The cavea, facing E, consists merely of the hollow in the hillside, with a few seats cut here and there in the rock. in place of the stage building is a narrow platform of solid masonry supported on arches, some 45 m long, with a small platform in the middle projecting towards the cavea. No permanent stone building seems to have been erected on this substructure.

Little remains of the public buildings in the plain: they included a temple of Nemesis, and an agora with a triple-arched gate on its W side dedicated to Septimius Severus and Geta. inscriptions refer also to an aqueduct and a reservoir.

The tombs are of various kinds, but none of Lycian type. Some are built bombs, others of Carian type; still others are in the form of a coffin set in a recess cut in the rock, or a sarcophagus with a recumbent lion on the lid.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

T.A.B. Spratt & E. Forbes, Travels in Lycia (1847) 267-71; E. Petersen & F. von Luschan, Reisen in Lykien II (1889) 183-86; R. Heberdey & E. Kalinka, Bericht über zwei Reisen (1896) 37-39.

G. E. BEAN

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