Lycian rock tombs are dotted all over Turkey but those we saw and photographed here are those of the Amyntas Tombs in Fethiye. They are an imposing landmark and the Telmessos (Fethiye) tombs are some of Turkey’s finest examples of funerary craftsmanship.
The Lyceans carved elaborate tombs from soft sandstone rock faces believing that the souls of the dead waited to be transported to the afterlife by a winged creature, hence the cliff top placement for ease of flight.
The tombs were built in similar style to Lycian homes, with protruding beams and some as high as as three storeys. It was not uncommon for a number of people to be buried in one tomb but in separate chambers.
Walking around many cities in Turkey, Lycean and Roman sarcophagi have been considered, in town planning, too significant to move and thus remain in city centres or on side paths. The Lycean people lived among their dead and even when they were buried on cliff sides, they were in full view of the city.
Posted as part of A – Z Blogging Challenge, April 2015.