To the NE of Finike.
It developed out of an old Lycian dynastic seat. A fortress, in part well preserved, stands on a spur (318 m
high) of the Tocak-Daği (1216 m high). Numismatic
evidence shows that the citadel, with the epichoric-Lycian name of Z[etilde]mu(ri), existed in the 5th c. B.C.
In the first half of the 4th c. the Lycian king Perikles,
whose likeness is known from coins, resided here. He had
his tomb built in the middle of the S wall of the lower
citadel, which stands at 218 m on a terrace cut into the
cliffs. Inspiration for the heroon came from the Porch
of the Maidens of the Erechtheion, which stands over
the grave of the attic king Kekrops in Athens, and the
Nereid monument in Xanthos. The foundations included
a burial chamber; above them rose a structure with the
form of an Ionic temple of amphiprostyle design. Instead of columns there are caryatids, two of which have
been re-erected and are now to be seen inside a protecting repository on the N side of the terrace. There also
are blocks from a frieze which decorated the walls of
the cella. It shows King Perikles setting out in his war
chariot followed by a mounted guard and foot soldiers.
The gables were decorated with figurative acroteria.
Only the theme of the N acroterion (Perseus and Medusa) can be reconstructed. All the fragments of the
acroteria are now in the archaeological museum of
The economic basis of the city was in the rich alluvial
land stretching between the Kara-Cay and Alakir-Cay.
The modern Finike developed from the old port for
The wealth and power of the Lycian king Perikles are
documented in the four large necropoleis. Ten tombs
decorated with reliefs have been found to date. A third
of all epichoric-Lycian funerary inscriptions are to be
found in this city, the farthest E of the area occupied
by Lycian culture. In necropolis IV an inscription has
been found in Aramaic, the chancellery script of the
Persian empire. To the E of the theater, some 20 m to
the other side of the road, stands the tomb of Xñtabura,
which was built ca. 350 B.C. Three sides of the hyposorion, which takes the form of a Lycian tomb-niche
with a flat roof, are decorated with reliefs. On the W
side, the deceased stands before the judges of the other
world; on the S side, a priest sacrifices a bull. The badly
damaged relief of the N side shows a trip by chariot.
The sarcophagus is decorated with an Ionic Cyma. On
the gables crouch eagles guarding the tomb. Sphinxes
with wings, and a statuette of a horseman, once stood on
the roof of the tomb. The gable of another sarcophagus,
decorated with reliefs of gorgons, hunting scenes, and a
bull sacrifice, and dating from the same period, is to be
found in the museum of Antalya.
It is in necropolis II to the W of the pyramidal mountain of the citadel that the greatest number of cliff tombs decorated with reliefs are to be found. Most noteworthy is the tomb of Tebursseli, running around the top
of which is a relief showing battle scenes which are explained by accompanying inscriptions in Lycian. Tebursseli is shown fighting back to back with King Perikles
against Arttu[mtilde]para, a dynast who ruled in the Xanthos
valley, and against Arttu[mtilde]para's soldiers. A well-preserved relief showing a single combat decorates the cliff tomb of the wet nurse of the later dynast Trbbenimi of
Limyra. To the W of the theater are numerous cliff terraces with houses, and cult-niches served for the worship
of the twelve Lycian gods.
In Hellenistic-Roman times the original peasant settlement at the foot of the eminence on which the citadel
stood began to take on the features of a city. Numerous
ruins have been found on either side of the river Limyros. Recognizable are the E city gate and beneath a late
Byzantine castle in the W city, the stylobate of a temple.
Near the S wall of the W city is the core of a tower-like structure which was a cenotaph for Gaius Caesar,
adopted son of Augustus, who landed in Finike on his
way back to Rome from Syria and died in Limyra in
Following an earthquake in A.D. 141 the theater was
completely reconstructed at considerable expense by the
Lyciarch Opramoas. An impressive bridge 400 m long
led in Roman times across the Alakir-Cay to the E.
From the Byzantine period there remain of the diocesan city of Limyra a ruined church in the lower citadel
and the palace and church of the bishop inside the E city.
E. Petersen & F. von Luschan, Reisen
(1884); Milya & Kibyratis, Reisen im südwestlichen Kleinasien
(1889) II 65ff; J. Borchhardt, “Das
Heroon von Limyra—Grabmal des lykischen Königs
(1970) 353ff; id., “Ein Totengericht in
19/20 (1969/70) 187ffI