City in Caria, on
the Ceramic Gulf about 40 km S-SE of Milâs. It appears
to be Carian in origin; no Greek settlement is recorded,
but archaic statuary of Greek type has been found on the
site. Keramos paid a tribute of 9000 dr. in the Delian
Confederacy, and was later an important member of the
Chrysaoric League (Strab. 660). From 189 to 167 B.C.
it was under the domination of Rhodes, and shortly afterwards, in difficulties in its relations with a neighbor, probably Stratonikeia, appealed to Rhodes for an alliance.
By the first century she had fallen under the control of
Stratonikeia. The chief deity of Keramos was Zeus
Chrysaoreus, who appears on some coins together with
a young god, apparently a local deity.
The site is partially occupied by the modern village,
and the ruins have been much despoiled. The city wall,
enclosing an extensive area, followed the hills to the N
and E and took in much of the flat ground on the S. The
masonry is for the most part polygonal, in some places
with an upper part in squared blocks, little of which
now remains. The numerous gates are mostly arched.
The best-preserved stretch is high up on the mountain
to the E. The wall as a whole appears to be of Hellenistic
The earliest remains have been found at a spot called
Bakicak, on a low hill: a platform supported by an ashlar wall carries the foundations of a temple, probably
that of Zeus Chrysaoreus. Nothing remains of the temple itself except three large blocks scattered on the hillside, but a block with a relief of a double axe was found
nearby, and at Bakicak itself a handsome marble head of
archaic date and kouros type was uncovered. It has been
thought that this head may represent the youthful deity
who appears with Zeus on the coins. Below the platform
on the W is a complex of terrace walls joined by crosswalls, and a row of six large niches.
Outside the city on the E was a second temple, now
known as Kurşunlu Yapi, which stood on a platform
with a supporting wall 6 m high surmounted by a cornice; only a few steps can be made out. The supporting
wall still stands, in handsome masonry, but the cornice
has been recently destroyed. Architectural members of
the temple, in the Corinthian order, are strewn about,
and two clipeae rotundae, with their inscriptions, can
still be seen.
The tombs at Keramos were placed, in the usual fashion, beside the roads leading to the gates; a number of
sarcophagi and several so-called Carian tombs are still
C. Michel, Receuil d'inscriptions
(1900) 658; G. Guidi, Annuario
386ff; A. & T. Akarca, Milâs
(1954) 170-74; G. E. Bean,
Turkey beyond the Maeander
G. E. BEAN