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ARSADA (Arsa) Lycia, Turkey.

A village high up on the F side of the Xanthos valley. It is not mentioned by any ancient author, nor are any coins known. It is identified by an inscription found on the spot (TAM II.2.539) and by the evident survival of the name. One or two rock-cut Lycian tombs of house type confirm the city's antiquity though the Lycian inscriptions on them, reported by Spratt, have not been seen again. It is not known whether Arsada was a member of the Lycian League, and the inscriptions give no information about the city apart from the mention of a temple and priest of Apollo.

The acropolis hill, which is quite low, was defended by a wall of rather rough polygonal masonry, of which a stretch over 270 m long survives on the E slope; the wall seems to be lacking on the W side, which is precipitous. At the summit on the N is a tower, some 9 m square, of a more regular style of polygonal. The interior contains only a mass of uncut building stones, with the occasional outline of a house.

In and around the village are a number of “Gothic” sarcophagi, the lids decorated with lions' heads, round shields, phallic emblems, and in one case human heads. None of these is inscribed. Just above the village, on an outcrop of rock, is a relief showing horse and rider, apparently a dedication to one of the Anatolian equestrian deities.


T.A.B. Spratt & E. Forbes, Travels in Lycia (1847) I 292-93; TAM II.2 (1930) 201; G. E. Bean in JHS 69 (1949) 40-45.


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