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IASOS later IASSOS (Kiyi Kişlacik) Turkey.

City in Caria on the gulf of Mendelia opposite the port of Güllük. In modern times it has been called Asin Kalé and later Asia Kurin. It occupies a small peninsula joined by an isthmus to the mainland, where the necropolis lies. Strabo (14.658) calls it an island, and remarks on its harbor and commercially important fishing. According to tradition it was a colony of Argos (Polyb. 16.12), but excavations indicate that it was inhabited, probably by tribes from Caria, from the Early Bronze Age on, and that in the Middle Bronze Age a Cretan colony was established there as at nearby Miletos. During the first part of the Late Bronze Age it apparently came under Achaean influence; to that period may probably be dated its contacts with Argos and the report of Peloponnesian, probably Mycenaean, origin. After the Mycenaean period the Carian element seems again to have become dominant.

Discoveries attest that Iasos was a fairly important center, tied to Rhodes and the Dodecanese. It was probably an ally of Ionia against Darius (Hdt. 1.174-75) in the battles in which Heraklides from nearby Mylasa distinguished himself (Hdt. 5.121). In the 5th c. Iasos appears on the tribute lists of the Delian League, first as contributing one talent, then three or four. In 412 it was captured and sacked by the Peloponnesian fleet (Thuc. 8.26-28), then destroyed by Lysander (Diod. 13.104.7). The city was rebuilt, probably with the help of Knidos, as coins of 394 B.C. attest. After the peace of Antalkidas it must have belonged to the satrapy of Caria under Hekatomnos, father of Mausolos, and then to the kingdom of Caria under Mausolos. It was liberated by Alexander the Great, in whose army two citizens from Iasos reached high rank (CIG 2672). Iasos was still independent after 168 B.C., but in 125 it was incorporated into the province of Asia along with all of Caria. Inscriptions and monuments indicate prosperity under Hadrian and throughout the entire 2d c. Later it was probably destroyed by the Heruli, but was rebuilt; basilicas were built in the first centuries of the Christian era, and one of its bishops took part in the Council of Chalkedon in A.D. 451. The city was inhabited throughout the Byzantine period, and in the Middle Ages it was the seat of a fortress of the Cavalieri.

Iasos has two circuit walls. One of the Classical period, of bossed ashlar with towers and gates of various types, surrounds the city on the peninsula and appears to have been used again against the barbarian invasions. The other, which is larger, in trapezoidal isodomic work with a large gate on the land side, numerous postern gates, and semicircular elongated towers, surrounds the landward end of the peninsula where the modern town lies. Excavations have revealed that the wall is actually one continuous circuit, and that within it there were several buildings. Probably it was a defensive wall for a garrison guarding the gulf of Iasos.

Few buildings were identified before excavation. The 4th c. B.C. theater, set on the slope of the hill toward the NE, is preserved to the top of the embankment wall, with an inscription which records its restoration. The marble seats, however, were carried off in the last century for use in Istanbul. The summa cavea was reached on the level from the W, but on the E side there was a staircase. The orchestra is well preserved and the stage shows successive Hellenistic remodelings. The Roman proscenium was decorated with niches and engaged columns.

Beside and below the theater the hill is less steep. The inhabited areas here preserved approximately the same orientation from archaic times to the late Imperial period. On the S side, towards the open sea, there is an imposing terraced complex, beside a central covered stairway. In the plain to the NW, near the main harbor, which is presumed to have been in the cove between the peninsula and mainland, is the agora; on the S side is the bouleuterion, still preserved up to the top of the cavea, and also a second public building with three rooms on the E side. A large gate with a propylon, near the SW corner, gave access to the agora from the shore, and a second gate with three vaults on the E side communicated with the rest of the city. In the NE corner was a nympheum. Beneath the agora of Imperial date excavations have revealed the arrangements of the Classical and Hellenistic periods. On the W side, a necropolis of large cist tombs from the Protogeometric period appears to indicate that the settlement was then perhaps farther inland. In the Bronze Age, however, the inhabited area spread below the agora and into the plain, to W and E and over the hill.

Of the sanctuaries mentioned in inscriptions, that of Zeus Megistos has been located in the plain to the NE as the result of the discovery of an oros on the E gate of the circuit wall. The sanctuary of Artemis Astiades, with its exedras and the stoas restored under Commodus, is behind the Bouleuterion to the W. The necropolis, on the mainland contains Early Bronze Age tombs built of rock slabs of the Carian type, chambered tombs with both flat roofs and barrel vaults, and funeral monuments and sarcophagi of the Imperial period. The large building known as the Fish Market has been shown to be a mausoleum, with a small tetrastyle temple above the burial chamber surrounded by a courtyard and a portico. The so-called Clock Tower is the only remaining example of a group of Roman tombs with two stories and a cupola supported on arches. The necropolis, on the edge of which an agricultural-industrial complex was established in the Roman period, is crossed by an aqueduct which probably continued as far as the peninsula.

There are several basilicas and other Christian buildings, particularly in the E section of the peninsula, and two basilicas have been found at the summit of the hill, near the fort of the Cavalieri.

Finds are in the Smyrna museum, but an antiquarium is being built on the site, in the N portico of the Roman mausoleum.


C. Texier, Description de l'Asie Mineure III (1849)PI; E. L. Hicks, “Jasos,” JHS 8 (1887); 9 (1888); W. Judeich, AthMitt 15 (1890); F. Krischen, ArchAnz (1913); G. Guidi, Annuario 4-5 (1921-22)I; G. Jost, Iasos in Karien, ein antikes Stadtbild (1935); G. E. Bean & J. M. Cook, BSA 52 (1957); recent excavations: D. Levi, Annuario 39-40 (1961-62); 43-44 (1965-66); 45-46 (1967-68); 47-48 (1969-70); C. Laviosa, III Congr. Intennaz. Cretologico (1971).


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