Xanthos is the oldest and largest city of the mountainous province of Lycia, settled around 8th century BC in the valley of the Xanthos (today's Kinik) river in the Mediterranean region of Turkey. Until the Persian invasion in the 4th century BC it was an independent state. When the people of Xanthos, who had bravely tried to defend their city against Persians, realized that they could not repulse the invasion, they first killed their woman and committed mass suicide by throwing themselves into the flames. About 80 surviving families and people who immigrated there rebuilt the city, but a fire which broke out about 100 years later razed it to the ground. In spite of this, the city was again rebuilt and, establishing good relations with its neighbors, was considered as an important center in Lycia.
However, Xanthos again met with an unfortunate end. As a result of resisting the taxes the Athenians wanted to impose on them in 429 BC, the city was largely destroyed and the inhabitants were drawn into a war. And thus Xanthos became "a city of disasters". The city itself consists of the Lycian acropolis and the parts remaining outside it, as well as the Roman acropolis. The most interesting building is the Roman theatre and the edifices of the theatre's western shoreline. Of these the most famous is the Harpy Monument, which is a family sarcophagus situated on a rock. The original of this relief - decorated sarcophagus is in the British Museum in London, and every good copy of this is in its place. Close by can be seen very interesting Lycian sarcophagi from the 6th and 1st centuries BC.