All About Turkey

Sidyma

Sidyma is a small ancient site located at todays Dodurga village, about 17 km after Esen town between Fethiye - Kalkan road in the Mediterranean region of Turkey. The village is along the Lycian Way walk but not visited by many people, it's off the beaten track.

There aren't any scientific excavations made at the site yet therefore its foundation and correct history is still unknown, except that it was a Lycian city and was flourished during the Roman and then Byzantine eras. Most of the ruins in Sidyma are from Roman period, but many of them are hardly noticable due to the village houses built on them.

According to ancient inscriptions and coins found in the area, Sidyma was one of the member cities of the Lycian League dating back to 2nd century BC. During the Roman period the city was taken care by the emperor Marcus Aurelius which brought the golden days for Sidyma. According to a legend, Marcus, before he was ascended to throne, became sick during a campaign in Asia Minor against the Persians in the 5th century and he was cured by the citizens of Sidyma, therefore he showed his generosity to the city when he became an emperor after the death of Theodosius II.

The acropolis of Sidyma is located on the hilltop to the north of the village and offers some great views of the area. The remaining wall here is a proof that the settlement was here at least in the early classical period. The edge of the wall has polygonal masonry where there was a gate and a watch tower. A little further from the wall there is a theater belonging to a later period with only six rows of seats visible, other rows are covered with dirt. You can also notice the ruins of cisterns in the acropolis.

The main ruins of Sidyma are located in Dodurga village and in the valley. Remains include numerous sarcophagi and lycian tombs, bath, stoa, temple, church and others. The large structure in the southwestern side of the site is a monumental tomb, raised on two steps with a large slab decorated with reliefs. According to an inscription, the Stoa with its pillars in the village center was built during the time of Cladius (41-54 AD). To the south of the Stoa there is an Agora and to the north there is a large temple built by Claudius again and dedicated to the emperors and to Artemis.

The necropolis of Sidyma is large and scattered around. Many tombs are dating back to a period between 1st and 3rd centuries AD. Some of the tombs are similar to the ones in Xanthos and Pinara.

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