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Sanctuary of Zeus, Labraunda

Sanctuary of Zeus, Labraunda

Battle of Labraunda, 497 BC

The battle of Labraunda (497 BC) was the second of three battles between the Persians and Carian rebels during the Ionian Revolt, and was a second costly defeat for the Carians.

Caria had joined the Ionian revolt in the aftermath of the Ionian raid on Sardis (498 BC). Their revolt disrupted the first Persian counterattack of the war, led by three sons-in-law of Darius I. One of those armies, under Daurises, was sent to the Hellespont, where he was able to recapture Dardanus, Abydus, Percote, Lampsacus and Paesus without many problems.

When the news arrived of the Carian revolt Daurises abandoned his campaign in the Hellespont, and moved south towards Caria. The Carians held a conference at the White Pillars on the River Marsyas, and decided to make their stand on the south bank of the River Maeander, forcing the Persians to fight with their backs to the river. This plan backfired, and the battle of the Maeander turned into a major Persian victory.

According to Herodotus the Carians lost 10,000 men, and the survivors retreated south to the sanctuary of Zeus the God of War at Labraunda. This was west of the River Marsyas, and at the eastern end of the peninsular that led to the Ionian city of Miletus. The Carians were split into two factions, with one wanting to surrender to the Persians and other wanting to migrate from Asia Minor, but their morale recovered when reinforcements arrived from Miletus.

The combined Carian and Milesian army decided to stand and fight. The Persians advanced south from the Maeander, and attacked them. Herodotus doesn't say where this battle took place, but also doesn't mention any movement from the sanctuary, so Labraunda is a reasonable guess for its location.

This second battle also ended in a major Persian victory, again with heavy casualties amongst the Carians and Milesians. Herodotus reports that the losses at this battle were even heavier than at the Maeander.

This second defeat didn't end the struggle. After a pause of uncertain length the Persians prepared to move against the Carian cities, but they ran into an ambush at Pedasa (497 or 496 BC) and suffered a heavy defeat that effectively ended the first Persian counterattack.

An Early Byzantine Cemetery at Labraunda, Turkey: Changing Site Usage Near the Sanctuary of Zeus Labraundos

In collaboration with a team of students and local workers, my archaeological project at Labraunda, Turkey (director: Olivier Henry) in the summer of 2018 uncovered an early Byzantine cemetery in the southwestern sector of the site. The sanctuary of Zeus at Labraunda functioned from at least the late classical through the Roman period, but the transition to Christianity has heretofore been difficult to chart outside of the two excavated churches.

The humble graves excavated in 2018 therefore offer a rare glimpse of the individuals who lived at the site in approximately the sixth century CE, and the changing usage of the former sanctuary area. These tombs, cut into the bedrock and marked in some cases with crosses etched on bricks, are associated with a nearby church and are only meters away from an earlier private bath attached to a late Roman villa. The density of tombs suggests a sizable agricultural settlement in the area after the villa had fallen out of use. Future analysis of the skeletons found in the tombs will shed more light on the identity and health of the early Byzantine inhabitants of Labraunda. This project adds new data on the Christianization of pagan sanctuary sites, shifting the focus to questions of daily life (and death) rather than religious motivations.

A Dumbarton Oaks project grant allowed me to carry out archaeological fieldwork from July 23 to August 22, 2018, as a part of the Labraunda excavation team in southwestern Turkey (director: Dr. Olivier Henry). My project focused on the early Byzantine period and the transition from paganism to Christianity, as the formerly pagan sanctuary at Labraunda found new uses in the period of Christian dominance.

Fig. 1. Orthophoto site plan of Labraunda (photo: Daniel Löwenborg)

Labraunda (near modern Milas, Turkey) was situated in the mountainous inland of ancient Caria a sanctuary at the site was devoted to Zeus Labraundos (with a labrys, a double axe). Labraunda and its sanctuary were monumentalized in the mid-fourth century BCE by members of the Carian Hekatomnid dynasty. Hekatomnos and his sons Mausolos (builder of the famous Mausoleum at nearby Halikarnassos) and Idrieus incorporated elements of Hellenic culture and art in their dynastic presentation, even as they functioned as Persian satraps. Both Mausolos and Idrieus built impressive structures, including the Temple of Zeus and two andrones, spaces for feasting. Labraunda continued to host a sanctuary in the Hellenistic and Roman periods, when new structures, such as baths, were built at the site. The end of pagan worship at Labraunda cannot be pinpointed, but at some point the temple was partially disassembled and an olive press was installed in one of the andrones. A later Byzantine settlement has been found on the fortified acropolis north of the sanctuary.

The aim of my project is to better understand this shift in site usage between the pagan and Christian periods, from a space identified with polytheist ritual to one serving as a settlement dependent on agricultural activities. In 2017, I led a team in excavating two olive presses installed just north of the sanctuary next to the large late-classical built tomb, indicating the encroachment of mundane activity into the sacred and commemorative areas of the site (preliminary report forthcoming in Anatolia Antiqua XXVI, 2018).

Jesper Blid has recently published the architectural remains of early Byzantine Labraunda (Labraunda 4, 2016), including two churches at the fringes of the site (the West Church and the East Church) and a Tetraconch Bath near the West Church, which Blid excavated from 2008 to 2009. Small baths of this architectural type are typically attached to late Roman villas, rather than standing alone or as part of a public bath it is therefore assumed that the Labraunda Tetraconch was part of an elite domestic structure. Based on the architectural form and a coin, the Tetraconch Bath is dated to ca. 300 CE. The West Church was constructed in the fifth century, and the use of the Tetraconch structure was changed around 500 CE, when the hypocaust heating system was filled up. The new function of the room, and its relation to the nearby church, is unclear.

My initial goal with this season’s fieldwork was to better understand the date and extent of this villa attached to the Tetraconch Bath. A few walls are visible in the area on the surface, and we therefore opened a 12 × 2.80 m test trench to the west of the Tetraconch to seek the continuation of one of these walls. It was my hope that by finding a residential space, the project could shed light on the lived experience of the early Byzantine inhabitants of Labraunda through this architectural proxy. Instead of a domestic structure, however, the excavation uncovered the early Byzantine inhabitants themselves. Twelve graves were found partially or fully within our trench. The graves were cut into the bedrock on an east–west axis.

Fig. 2. Orthophoto of the graves cut into the bedrock. At lower left, the stone slabs covering grave C31 remain visible the grave was opened after the photograph (photo: Olivier Henry)

Fig. 3a. Orthophoto of the stone borders outlining the rock-cut graves below (photo: Olivier Henry)

Battle of Pedasus or Pedasa, 497 or 496 BC

The battle of Pedasus or Pedasa (497 or 496 BC) was the third in a series of battles between the Persians and Carian rebels during the Ionian Revolt, and was a major Persian defeat that effectively ended their first large scale counterattack against the rebels.

The Ionian Revolt broke out in 499, but it didn't spread to Caria until 498, in the aftermath of the Ionian raid on Sardis (498). In 497 the Persians launched their first major counterattack against the rebels, commanded by three son-in-laws of Darius I. One of those generals, Daurises, led his army to the Hellespont, where he captured Dardanus, Abydus, Percote, Lampsacus and Paesus.

He was forced to abandon this successful campaign when news reached him of the Carian revolt. He turned south and headed towards the Carian border. This news soon reached the rebels, who decided to make a stand on the River Maeander. The resulting battle of the Maeander (497 BC) was a major Persian victory. The Carian survivors retreated south to the sanctuary of Zeus the God of War at Labraunda, where they were debating whether they should surrender or flee from Anatolia when they received reinforcements from Miletus. This restored their morale, and they decided to stand and fight. The Persians attacked, and inflicted a second heavy defeat on them, possibly at Labraunda (497 BC).

After this second victory, there appears to have been a pause in the campaigning. Both battles were described as hard fought, so the Persians may have needed time to regroup. The Carians had suffered two heavy defeats, and were in even more need of a rest. Unfortunately we don't know how long the pause was. All we know from Herodotus is that the next battle took place 'Some time after this disaster', when both sides had had time to regroup. This probably places the battle of Pedasa early in 496, the next campaigning season, but it may have been fought later in 497.

The campaign was renewed when the Persians decided to attack the Carian cities. The Carians, commanded by Heraclides, son of Ibanollis, from Mylasa, set up an ambush at Pedasa (or Pedasus), in the south-west of Caria (just to the south of Mylasa).

The Persians fell into the trap during a night march, and their army was almost wiped out. Amongst the dead were Daurises himself, along with Amorges, Sisimaces and Myrsus son of Gyges.

This disaster effectively ended the first Persian counterattack. The Persians had already lost Hymaees, the second of their three commanders, who died of illness while campaigning around Ilium. With two commanders and one of their armies lost, they were forced to pause, and didn't return to the offensive until 494.

Labraunda and Karia

In November 2008 a symposium held at the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities celebrated sixty years of Swedish archaeological work at Labraunda in Karia. The results of the symposium are published in this volume, edited by Lars Karlsson and Susanne Carlsson.

In the first section (p. 7-47) Lars Karlsson begins with an overview on the history of the excavations at Labraunda, the related publications and the symposium of 2008 (p. 9-18). Next Pontus Hellström presents the ancient sources that mention Labraunda and the contemporary reports on the rediscovery of the place from the 18th century to the first half of the 20th century (p. 19-47). 1

The next section (p. 51-276) deals with the sanctuary at Labraunda itself and includes 13 articles in alphabetical order by author. Abdulkadir Baran begins with an exploration of the Sacred Way and the spring houses of Labraunda, arguing that both were probably constructed or sponsored by the Hekatomnids (p. 51-98). Jesper Blid discusses the “Recent research on the churches of Labraunda” and presents new results concerning Labraunda in Late Antiquity (p. 99-108). In the next paper Jesper Carlsen takes the view that the inscription I. Labraunda 62 refers to Cn. Domitius Ahenobarbus, the consul of 32 BC, and not the homonymous consul of 122 BC (p. 109-120). Next Anne Marie Carstens examines the Achaemenids in Labraunda and comes to the conclusion that Labraunda was a key position for the Hekatomnids as religious and political leaders (p. 121-131). “Who’s who in Labraunda” asks Pierre Debord, in order to define the legal status of the sanctuary of Labraunda by examining the relationship between religious and political authorities in Hellenistic times (p. 133-147). “Feasting at Labraunda and the chronology of the Andrones” is the title of the second paper by Pontus Hellström in which the author argues that all Hekatomnid buildings at Labraunda have to be regarded as components of one single dynastic project (p. 149-157). Olivier Henry compares a monumental Π-shaped tomb from Labraunda with its Karian parallels, in this context drawing attention to the specific characteristic of the sanctuary at Labraunda, namely that it is surrounded by a large necropolis (p. 159-176). Together with Anne Ingvarsson-Sundström, Henry contributes to the volume with a second paper that describes a rock-cut tomb (Tomb T16) that was examined in 2008 (p. 177-197). Signe Isager presents an overview of the epigraphic tradition at Labraunda and particularly a new inscription discovered in 2002 in the sanctuary of Zeus (now together with Labraunda inscription no. 49 known as the Labraunda inscription no. 134), which is an addition to the so-called Olympichos file (p. 199-215). Lars Karlsson’s second contribution refers to the forts and fortifications of Labraunda, which all belonged to one complex defensive system built by the Hekatomnids, and which were to some extent reactivated by the Byzantines in the 12th and 13th centuries, thus pointing out the strategic importance of Labraunda (217-252). The following paper examines the coins found during the excavations at Labraunda, offering very little scientific information but describing the manifold difficulties the author, Harald Nilsson, was confronted with since he started his research on the Labraunda coins in 1976 (p. 253-256). Paavo Roos describes the stadion of Labraunda, which probably dates back to the times of Mausolos and has two preserved lines of starting blocks, this being remarkable for Anatolia (p. 257-266). The last chapter of the section is written by Thomas Thieme, who gives an account of the modules and measurements at Labraunda reasoning that for the temple of Zeus another metrological standard was probably used than for the other Hekatomnid buildings at Labraunda (p. 267-276).

Section III (p. 279-459) presents in geographical order papers dealing with the surrounding landscape of Karia. 2 It begins with Suat Ateşlier’s examination about “The Archaic architectural terracottas from Euromos and some cult signs” (p. 279-290) which is a preliminary report on the findings of the excavations at the temple of Zeus in the years 1969-1975. According to the author the circa 800 terracotta pieces point to the existence of three or four Ionic buildings. Fede Berti writes about the agora of Iasos and reports about the recent findings along the western Stoa, which allows new insights into the chronology of the agora and the defensive circuit (p. 291-305). “Day and night at Stratonikeia” is the title of the paper written by Riet van Bremen who analyses a recently published monumental inscription from Stratonikeia (I Stratonikeia III, 1508 = SEG 55,1145) and offers considerations about its context, its date of origin and its presumable meaning (p. 307-329). “The Chrysaoreis of Caria” is described by Vincent Gabrielsen, who argues on the basis of a newly found decree from Lagina (SEG 53,1229) that the Chrysaoreis was a federal state and not just a religious league (p. 331-353). In the next paper Simon Hornblower compares the dynasty of the Hekatomnids – basically its female members – with the developments in Crete, Rhodes, Cilicia, Cyprus and Egypt where he finds precedents and models for several specifics of the Hekatomnids like female rule or sister- marriage (p. 355-362). In the next chapter Poul Pedersen inquires if the East Greek “Ionian Renaissance” of the Late Classical period was restricted to architecture and comes to the conclusion that there was a broader cultural renaissance and that Ionia was besides Athens the main source for architects, artists and intellectuals of Ptolemaic Alexandreia (365-388). Raffaella Pierobon Benoit investigates the territory of Iasos on the basis of recent surveys (2006-2008), whereupon she focuses on the eastern part of it. She confirms that the area was permanently inhabited since the Archaic period and observes that the territory was controlled by fortification walls and towers (p. 389-423). Birte Poulsen treats “Halikarnassos during the Imperial period and Late Antiquity” and contradicts – on the basis of epigraphic and archaeological material – the impression given by the ancient authors, according to which Halikarnassos had been mostly abandoned and ruined in the Imperial period and later (p. 425-443). 3 The last paper of the section is contributed by Frank Rumscheid who offers the first presentation of a type of female marble statuette from Milasa and Stratonikeia. In his opinion the statuettes represent probably Aphrodite and served as burial objects (p. 445-459).

Two appendices complete the volume. The first is a nicely illustrated personal view on the Swedish excavations in Labraunda in 1951 written by Kristian Jeppesen who attended the excavation as a young student (p. 463-470). The second appendix is a chronological Labraunda bibliography by Pontus Hellström covering the years 1948 to 2010 (p. 471-475).

The volume covers a wide range of topics related to the sanctuary at Labraunda and offers an interesting overview on the Swedish excavations and the results of recent research concerning both Labraunda and Karia. All papers are provided with a bibliography and a short abstract in English. Furthermore, most chapters are illustrated with a vast amount of colored pictures, plans, maps etc.

Altogether, the volume celebrating sixty years of Swedish archaeological work at Labraunda will stimulate further work in this area and is to be recommended to everyone concerned with this subject. 4

Table of Contents

Lars Karlsson: Labraunda. The excavations and the symposium 9
Pontus Hellström: Labraunda. The rediscovery 19
Abdulkadir Baran: The Sacred Way and the spring houses of Labraunda sanctuary 51
Jesper Blid: Recent research on the churches of Labraunda 99
Jesper Carlsen: I. Labraunda 62: text and context 109
Anne Marie Carstens: Achaemenids in Labraunda. A case of imperial presence in a rural sanctuary in Karia 121
Pierre Debord: Who’s who in Labraunda 133
Pontus Hellström: Feasting at Labraunda and the chronology of the Andrones 149
Olivier Henry: Hellenistic monumental tombs: the Π-shaped tomb from Labraunda and Karian parallels 159
Olivier Henry /Anne Ingvarsson-Sundström: The story of a tomb at Labraunda 177
Signe Isager: The epigraphic tradition at Labraunda seen in the light of Labraunda inscription no. 134: a recent addition to the Olympichos file 199
Lars Karlsson: The forts and fortifications of Labraunda 217
Harald Nilsson: The coins from the excavations at Labraunda 253
Paavo Roos: The stadion at Labraunda 257
Thomas Thieme: Modules or measurements at Labraunda 267
Suat Ateşlier: The Archaic architectural terracottas from Euromos and some cult signs 279
Fede Berti: L’agora di Iasos alla luce delle piu recenti scoperte 291
Riet van Bremen: Day and night at Stratonikeia 307
Vincent Gabrielsen: The Chrysaoreis of Caria 331
Simon Hornblower: How unusual were Mausolus and the Hekatomnids? 355
Poul Pedersen: The Ionian Renaissance and Alexandria seen from the perspective of a Karian-Ionian lewis hole 365
Raffaella Pierobon Benoit: II territorio di lasos: nuove ricerche (2006-2008) 389
Birte Paulsen: Halikarnassos during the Imperial period and Late Antiquity 425
Frank Rumscheid: Im Grab mit Aphrodite? Kleinskulpturen aus Mylasa und Stratonikeia 445
Kristian Jeppesen: Appendix 1: Labraunda revisited 463
Pontus Hellstrom: Appendix 2: Labraunda bibliography 1948-2010 471

1. Hellström’s paper is a revised version of Pontus Hellström: The rediscovery of Labraunda in the 18th century, in: Kungl. Humanistiska Vetenskaps-Samfundet I Uppsala, Årsbok 2006, Uppsala 2007, p. 17-45.

2. For further recent research on Karia see: Riet van Bremen and Jan-Mathieu Carbon (edd.): Hellenistic Karia, Bordeaux 2010.

3. The paper is a shortened and reworked version of a chapter Poulsen wrote for a publication (The House of Charidemos. Halicarnassian Studies VI ) that is due to appear in 2011.

Around the World in 80 Models: Labraunda

Hop on board as we continue our journey Around the World in 80 Models! We began our itinerary at Sketchfab headquarters in New York and are working our way through Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania, South America, and North America. To catch up on past destinations, check out the rest of the Around the World in 80 Models series.

This week we’re in western Turkey, where archaeologist Daniel Löwenborg shows us around the Sanctuary of Zeus at Labraunda.

Labraunda, Turkey: Sanctuary of Zeus

My name is Daniel Löwenborg and I have a PhD in archaeology and work as a researcher at Uppsala University and associate professor at the University of Bergen. I am also co-owner of a company called Disir Productions where we are working with 3D documentations of archaeological excavation and digital reconstructions of historical environments. My research is focused on the use of GIS and quantitative methods for archaeological landscape analysis, and thus the recent easy availability of drones and photogrammetric methods has led to many exciting new possibilities. When I first got my hands on a DJI Phantom and started doing models from the pictures, it really blew my mind how easy it was to produce high quality data! So far I have mostly worked on projects in Gamla Uppsala in Sweden, Luxor in Egypt and Labraunda in Turkey. This past summer I joined two additional research projects: a fascinating Bronze Age site called Malthi in Greece and the UNESCO world heritage site of Great Zimbabwe.

The model “Labraunda – Sanctuary of Zeus” was created as part of a research excavation project of the site that was initiated in 1948 by professor Axel W. Persson from Uppsala University. Since 2013 the project director is Dr. Olivier Henry (PSL*, Ecole Normale Supérieure-AOROC, Paris). It is a wonderful place up in the mountains north of the city Milas, and since it is a bit secluded there are not so many visitors there, but it is well worth a visit and the history of the place is amazing.

The model was created in several parts, with the lower sanctuary mostly scanned with a DJI Inspire 1. For the Acropolis on the top a DJI Phantom 2 was used, since there were so many trees there and it was necessary to fly below treetops, it was better to use the light and flexible Phantom with a wide-angle GoPro camera. Since we only had two batteries with us for the Inspire, and electricity at the site is scarce, the data for the sanctuary was collected over six days, with the chunks processed individually in Agisoft Photoscan and then merged together based on ground control points. Since the model is fully georeferenced it will act as a base on to which we can add the results of future excavations over the years to create a fully 3D GIS documentation of the excavation. This is a great resource for collecting the information about the excavations, and we also use it as a base for reconstructions of the buildings at the site, most of which are not very visible today. A first version of such reconstruction work with building created in SketchUp and visualised in ArcGIS can be seen here.

To see more of Daniel’s models here on Sketchfab, check out his profile!

Sanctuary of Zeus, Labraunda - History

Karlsson Lars. Combining architectural orders at Labraunda : a political statement. In: 4th Century Karia. Defining a Karian identity under the Hekatomnids. Istanbul : Institut Français d'Études Anatoliennes-Georges Dumézil, 2013. pp. 65-80. (Varia Anatolica, 28)


This paper discusses two unorthodox features of the banquet hall called Andron B, built by Maussollos, at the sanctuary of Zeus at Labraunda. The building combines a Doric frieze with Ionic columns and two Persian-like sphinxes as roof acroteria. The paper suggests that the mixture of the orders is a political statement by Maussollos about his aims for ruling the Doric and Ionic peoples in the eastern Aegean. The sphinxes, though they occur on rock-cut temple façades in Phrygia, probably refer to Persian authority, as exemplified by the recently published Temple of Eschmun in Sidon.

The Roman architect Vitruvius, a classicist, wrote the following about the combination of the orders (Fig. 1):

Again, if in Doric entablatures, dentils are carried on the cornices, or, if with voluted capitals and

Ionic entablatures, triglyphs are applied, characteristics are transferred from one style to another, the

work as a whole will jar upon us, since it includes details foreign to the order. (De Arch. 1 .2.6)

[trans. F. Granger, Loeb Classical Library, Cambridge Mass. 1983].

For the first time in the history of architecture, this mixture occurred at Labraunda (Fig. 2)1. The sanctuary is mentioned in the ancient sources as first functioning in the middle of the 7th century BC, but very little remains from this early period. Instead, almost all the surviving buildings were built by members of the Hekatomnid family in the 4th century BC (Fig. 3). Why did the Hekatomnids invest so much money in the construction of luxurious buildings, partly in marble, at this lonely site, 14 km from the nearest city and elevated 650 meters above sea-level, in a very rugged gneiss landscape? And why did they pioneer the mixing of the Doric and the Ionic orders?

The Athenian Empire had been crushed in 405 BC and the victorious Spartans concluded in 387/86 the famous King's Peace, which restored Persian authority over the Anatolian coastland. The Persians inserted Hekatomnos as the satrap over Karia. Simon Hornblower has suggested that Hekatomnos was chosen because he came from a local aristocratic family2. It was a wise move to elevate a local family to govern the area. But how was the new governing family going to portray it¬ self?

Hekatomnos put the image of Zeus Labraundos on his magnificent new silver coins, a practice that was followed on all coins minted by members of the Hekatomnid family in the 4th century (Fig. 4). The Sanctuary of Zeus Labraundos became a new center of Karian identity. No secure

1) The combination of the orders has been mentioned before in Hellström 1988 1990, 245 1995 and 1996, 136.

The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites Richard Stillwell, William L. MacDonald, Marian Holland McAllister, Stillwell, Richard, MacDonald, William L., McAlister, Marian Holland, Ed.

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LABRAUNDA or Labraynda,, Labranda, Caria, Turkey.

Part of the paved Sacred Way up from Mylasa is still visible. About 7.5 m wide, it runs straight, being partly constructed by cut-and-fill. The site, well supplied with water, is steep the several terraces and numerous buildings were connected by ramps and stairs. Apart from the sanctuary there is an acropolis ca. 90 m in length, and on the slopes above the sacred precinct there are the fragmentary remains of a stadium. The Hecatomnids seem to have had a palace at Labraunda.

There were many tombs around the sanctuary and along the Sacred Way, usually cut from the living rock, room-style, or sunk into it. Of particular interest is one N of the temple, built up of carefully finished cut stone. Two rooms are vaulted with projecting corbel-stones, the undersides of which, however, are cut back to form the impression and surface of a true, curved vault. Above both chambers is a low second story, roofed with monolithic stone slabs up to 5 m in length. The doorway to the inner chamber was originally closed by a six-ton stone the whole may be of the 4th c. B.C. There are fragments of two sarcophagi in the outer chamber, and three well-preserved sarcophagi in the inner chamber.

The original Temple of Zeus Stratios was a small structure in antis of megaron-like plan in part preserved by the Hecatomnid builders, who added to it an Ionic peristyle (6 x 8 columns) part of Idrieus' dedicatory inscription has been found. He and his brother constructed two interesting and all but identical andrones or religious meetinghouses, one W and one S of the temple terrace. These were well built of local stone, with rectangular plans and numerous large windows. Each had a porch with two columns in antis (recalling the plan of the original Temple of Zeus) and a large main room lit not only by side windows but also by windows in the thick wall separating the room from the porch. Both buildings have broad niches at the ends of their interior chambers, rectilinear in plan and elevated, shelf-like, from the floor. In the 1st c. A.D. a third andron was built, just S of the Hecatomnid one farther S. East and S of the temple are the remains of several priests' houses, one with a porch of four Doric columns. Flanking the broad terrace to the E of the temple were two stoas, the N one built for Mausolos, the S one for Idrieus. By the N one there is an exedra, perhaps of Roman date beyond this was another large house. Below the S colonnade is a fairly elaborate well-house, probably of the 1st c. A.D. East of this are sizable ruins which may be of the Hecatomnid palace.

About 45 m SE of the well-house two staircases, one a grand, well-preserved structure nearly 12 m wide, lead to a lower courtyard faced on two sides by grand propylaea it was to these that the Sacred Way led. Here stood a house with a facade of Doric columns which was later incorporated in a Roman bath building. Nearby, and also between the two propylaea, are the remains of the Byzantine church, a three-aisled basilica with a narthex and a deep apsidal sanctuary flanked by side chapels. Still farther SE, alongside part of the precinct wall, was an unusual two-story building partly constructed of granite columns. It has been suggested that Aelian's pool was here, that the fish were sacred to the god and were connected with those oracular functions for which there is some evidence at Labraunda (the use of fish as oracular agents is well attested in the ancient world).

There are several small, ruined fortresses of ancient date in the general vicinity. Some Labraunda finds can be seen in the Archaeological Museum in Izmir.


The National Endowment for the Humanities provided support for entering this text.

Sanctuary of Zeus, Labraunda - History

Gunter Ann C. Looking at Hecatomnid patronage from Labraunda . In: Revue des Études Anciennes. Tome 87, 1985, n°1-2. Journées d'Etudes sur l'Asie Mineure, Bordeaux, 1986. pp. 113-124.


Columbia University, New York, Department of Art History and Archaeology.

By Rupert Scott

Labraunda is perhaps the most romantic of the ancient Carian sites. Set on a series of man-made terraces high in the pine-clad Latmos Mountains, some 15 kilometres north of Milas, it has an uncomparably beautiful situation and a superb view to the south and west. It is far enough off the beaten track that even today it is not unusual to find yourself its only visitor, an experience that is becoming quite rare in the ancient sites of southwest Turkey. You feel as if nothing has changed since the end of antiquity.

A handsome new book, Mylasa Labraunda: Milas Çomakdağ – the latest in the series Urban and Rural Architecture in Turkey – looks not just at Labraunda, but also at neighbouring monuments (such as Alinda and Iasos), at the vernacular architecture of the villages scattered across the mountain of Çomakdağ, at local flora, even at local geology. This may seem over-ambitious in a single volume, but the result is a very readable, attractive book that should please both the scholar and the merely intellectually curious.

Labraunda is not a city, but the sanctuary of a god and place of pilgrimage. Just as Miletus had the Temple of Apollo in Didyma, Ephesus had the Artemision and Syracuse had its Olympeion, Caria had Labraunda – the Sanctuary of Zeus Labraundos. A paved sacred way led to the sanctuary from Milas, and it is thought that Carians made an annual pilgrimage.

Watch the video: Labranda antik kenti. Labraunda ancient city (January 2022).