City on a small
peninsula inside a gulf NW of Smyrna, the farthest N
of the Ionian cities and in the Aiolian region. The Phokaians, directed from Athens, according to ancient authors
(Nicol. Damasc. FGrH
II, 1.35.2, frg. 51; Paus. 7.3.10
; Hdt. 1.146
), settled on land given them
by the people of Kyme. The 9th c. monochrome gray
pottery found there may indicate that, like Kymians,
these first inhabitants of Phokaia were Aiolians. According to Pausanias, Ionians from Teos and Erythrai settled
there, perhaps in one of the earliest movements of the
Ionian expansion. Indeed, the Protogeometric pottery
probably indicates that the Ionians had lived at Phokaia
at least since the end of the 9th c. B.C. From this it might
be deduced that the city was accepted into the Panionion
after the Ionians settled in the area at this early date.
The Phokaians were famous navigators, employing 50-oared vessels. They traded with Naukratis in Egypt and,
in association with Miletos, they founded Lampsakos, at
the N entrance to the Dardanelles, and Amisos (Samsun) on the Black Sea. But Phokaia's major colonies
were in the W Mediterranean, especially Elea (Velia) on
the W coast of Lucania in S Italy, Alalia in Corsica,
Massalia (Marseilles) in France, and Emporion (Ampurias) in Spain.
The city wall mentioned by Herodotos (1.163
disappeared. It was a defense against the Persians, and
financed by King Argonthonius of Tartessos in Andalusia. In 546 B.C., however, the Persians captured Sardis
and soon devastated most of the cities in W Asia Minor,
including Phokaia. Many of the inhabitants emigrated
to their Mediterranean colonies. Although some of them
seem to have returned, there was no revival of the golden
age of the first half of the 6th c. The Phokaians could
send only three ships to the battle of Lade in 494; but
owing to their naval skill, the command of the entire
Hellenic fleet was given to Dionysios of Phokaia.
The city was a member of the Delian League during
the 5th c. and paid a tribute of two talents, but in 412
Phokaia rebelled and left the League. During the Hellenistic period it was ruled first by the Seleucids and
then by the Attalids, and in 132 B.C., although it participated in Aristonikos' uprising against the Romans, the
city was saved from destruction by the help of Massalia.
Pompey gave Phokaia its independence. In the Early
Christian era, the city became the center of a diocese,
and in A.D. 1275 the Genoese, who were mining alum
there, fortified the town with a castle.
Phokaia was also famous for its coinage, made of
electrum, and for its purple dye. Telephanes of Phokaia
was a sculptor for Darius and Xerxes in the 5th c. B.C.,
and according to Vitruvius (7 Praef
. 12) Theodoros of
Phokaia wrote on the Tholos at Delphi and was probably the builder of it (beginning of the 4th c. B.C.).
In ancient times a temple stood on the highest point of
a rocky platform at the end of the peninsula, where the
secondary school now stands. Excavations have yielded
many fragments of bases, columns, capitals, and architectural terracottas which may have been part of the Temple of Athena mentioned by Xenophon (Hell
. 13.1) and Pausanias (2.31.6
; 7.5.4). Constructed of fine white porous stone, the building seems to have been erected in
the second quarter of the 6th c. B.C., and restored about
the end of the same century after its destruction by the
Persians. The architectural and other finds are in the Izmir Museum.
The rock monument N of the asphalt road, 7 km E
of Foça, was not built but was carved out of the rock,
like the tombs found in Lycia, Lydia, and Phrygia. The
pattern of a door on the facade also appears on Lydian
works in the vicinity; but on the other hand, the monument follows the Lycian custom in having two stories, with the upper one in the form of a sarcophagus. The burial chamber, however, was on the ground floor, and
the presence of a stepped element between the two floors
is indicative of Achaemenid influence. The building must
have been erected in memory of a minor king, and therefore during a time when non-democratic Persian rulers dominated the region. There were tyrants close by at Larisa during the 5th and 4th c., and the Phokaian monument may have been that of a tyrant who ruled a small area in the 4th c. B.C.
The tomb called Şeytan Hamami (the Devil's Baths),
in Foça itself, is carved out of rock like some of the
Lydian tombs. The Greek sherds found in this grave date
from the end of the 4th c.
F. Sartiaux, De la nouvelle à l'ancienne
(1914); id., CRAI
(1911) 119ff; (1914) 6ff; J.
XXI, 444-48; E. Akurgal, Anatolia
1 (1956) 3ff;
id., Die Kunst Anatoliens
(1961) 17, 180, 283; id., Ancient
Civilizations and Ruins of Turkey
(1973); E. Langlotz,
Die kulturelle und künstlerische Hellenisierung der Küsten des Mittelmecres durch die stadt Phokaia