Lagina - Hekate

The site of Lagina is an ancient Carian city located at Turgut village in Yatagan, in the province of Mugla. The site can be reached from the Milas - Yatagan state road, approximately 9 kilometers in from Yatagan termic power plant. Local people call the site as Leyne, and it's one of the most remarkable sites in the Aegean region of Turkey.

Lagina Hekate used to be a Carian cult site belonging to Stratonikeia ancient city, located at about 11 kilometers from Lagina. During the recent excavations made by Turkish archaeologists, it has been discovered that the history of the site dates back to the Bronze Age, about 3,000 BC. It became an important religious center during the rule of Seleucid kings around 3rd century BC and major constructions were made in the 1st century BC under the reign of emperor Augustus. According to the inscriptions found at Lagina and at the bouleuterion of Stratonikeia city, these two sites were connected by a sacred road. After the Hellenistic and Roman periods the Byzantines also settled at this site but then it was abandoned most probabily because of the earthquakes and invaders.

Lagina site is surrounded by a 2 meters-high wall which can still be seen today. These walls form the back wall of the Stoa as well. The propylon has 3 lanes and and an absid carried by four ionic style columns. On the sides of the Propylon there are inscriptions with names of the priests who were in charge at the temple. This gate was connected to the Stoa with a smaller gate. The stone paved road from the monumental gate to the altar is lined with ten rows of steps which were reserved as spectator seats. The temple of Hekate, dedicated to an Anatolian - Carian goddess, is located at the center of the sacred area, sitting on a platform of 29 x 22 meters surrounded by one row of Attic - Ion columns with Corinthian style column capitals. The temple has a pseudo dipteros plan with 8 x 11 Corinthian style columns, and there are two ionic style columns at its pronaos.

Today at the archaeological site one can see the propylon (monumental entrance gate), the sacred road, an altar where sacrifications were made, a Peribolos (wall) surrounding the holly site, Doric Stoas and the Hellenistic temple of Hekate. The friezes of the temple can be seen at Istanbul Archaeological Museum, displaying four different scenes on the facades;

  1. Zeus' birth and his life on the Eastern side.
  2. War between gods and gigants (Gigontomakhia) on the Western side.
  3. Reunion of Carian gods on the Southern side.
  4. Peace and friendship between Amazons and Greeks on the Northern side.