Oenoanda Survey

Location: near İncealiler village; Muğla Province

Years: 1974-1977, 1981, 1983, 1997

Project Director: Alan Hall, Martin Smith

Participants: Andrew Slade (1974), Maureen Healy (1974), Graham Cooper (1974), John Rowland (1974), David Stephens (1974), James Coulton (1975, 1983), Diskin Clay (1975), David Howarth (1975-1976), Peter Hughes (1975), Martyn Swain (1975), Peter Ross (1975), Richard Harper (1977), Lesley and Roger Ling (1977), Simon Dykes (1977), David Chapman (1977), Andrew Farrington (1983), R. R. R. Smith (1983), Stephen Mitchell (1994), Nicholas Milner (1994), Jeremy Rossiter (1994), Ali Dervişağaoğlu (1997), Hüseyin Köktürk (1997), Orhan Köse (1997), Andrew L. Goldman (1997), Julian Bennett (1997)

Government Representatives: Osman Özbek (1974, 1976), Sırrı Özenir (1975), Ibrahim Malkoç (1983)

Funding: BIAA, Charlotte Bonham Carter Trust, Russell Trust, Seven Pillars of Wisdom Trust, private grants


The Oenoanda survey project was carried out over the course of six seasons between 1974 and 1983.  The goal of the survey was to record inscriptions and fragments in and around the north Lycian city of Oenoanda, with a particular emphasis on recovering as much as possible of the philosophical inscription of Diogenes of Oenoanda.

The first season in 1974 began in mid-July but was cut down from eight to three weeks due to the Cyprus crisis.  In the short time given, however, they were successful in locating and marking as much of the Diogenes’ inscription as possible, which they estimated to comprise approximately 25% of the entire thing.  They also completed a measurement of the Esplanade, began recording the non-philosophical inscriptions on site, and photographed many of the public buildings.

Between 17 July and 6 September 1975 the team carried out a second season with the intent of continuing the topographical survey of the main site, completing inventories of inscriptions (both Diogenes’ and non-philosophical ones), and studying other major buildings.  Their goals were met as major structures were surveyed and incorporated into plans, 47 new fragments of the Diogenes inscription were found and inventoried, non-philosophical inscriptions were documented by Alan Hall, and major buildings were studied by Coulton, and dated to the third century AD.

It became clear at this point that in order to learn more about Oenoanda excavation was advisable, and between 18 and 25 August 1976 Hall visited the site three times in order to observe the practicalities of conducting an excavation there.  One new inscription was also found belonging to the Diogenes inscription.

Between 27 July and 1 September 1977 a team of eight returned to Oenoanda for a fourth season of work.  An inventory and study was made of the main buildings.  They were successful in completing a detailed survey down the acropolis hill to the early southern wall, studying the development of the site before and after the city walls, discovering ten new fragments of the inscription of Diogenes, as well as some non-philosophical fragments, and further outlining a plan for excavation.

No excavation permit was granted, however, by 1981, and so during a brief fifth season other work was carried out: Coulton studied the city’s aqueduct, Smith checked, re-photographed, and recorded two new fragments of the Diogenes Inscription, and Hall studied the Mausoleum of Licinnia Flavilla and its inscription.  It was determined that further work was limited without the possibility of an excavation.

The sixth season occurred between 17 and 31 August 1983.  Hall examined texts found previously and recorded new material, Coulton and Andrew Farrington continued to measure and study and more closely observe buildings of significance, and R. R. R. Smith looked at architectural details.  Three new fragments of Diogenes’ inscription were found in a nearby village, and five other inscriptions were recorded.

Nothing more was done until 1994, when Stephen Mitchell spent a week accompanied by Martin Smith, Nicholas Milner and Jeremy Rossiter to assess the potential of conducting an excavation there.

In 1997, between 31 October and 9 November, Smith collaborated with İbrahim Malkoç, director of Fethiye Museum, in a small excavation on the Esplanade, primarily.  Their work produced several substantial new fragments of the philoosphical inscription as well as other discoveries.

Work was again suspended until 2007, when the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, Istanbuler Abteilung, took over responsibility for restarting the survey and excavation, under the directions of Martin Bachmann and Jürgen Hammerstaedt, in collaboration with Martin Smith and Nicholas Milner.


1975: ‘The Year’s Work’ Anatolian Studies 25: 8-9

1976: ‘Report of the Council of the Management and the Director for 1975’ Anatolian Studies 26: 8

Hall, A. 1976: ‘The Oenoanda Survey: 1974-76’ Anatolian Studies 26: 191-197

1977: ‘Report of the Council of the Management and the Director for 1976’ Anatolian Studies 27: 9-10

1978: ‘The Year’s Work’ Anatolian Studies 28: 5-6

1982: ‘The Year’s Work’ Anatolian Studies 32: 5

1984: ‘The Year’s Work’ Anatolian Studies 34: 11-12

Smith, M.F. 1998: ‘Excavations at Oinoanda 1997: The New Epicurean Texts’ Anatolian Studies 48: 125-170

See also:

Smith, M.F. 1974: Thirteen New Fragments of Diogenes of Oenoanda. Vienna

Smith, M.F. 1974 ‘Seven New Fragments of Diogenes of Oenoanda’ Hermathena 118: 110-129

Smith, M.F. 1976: ‘More New Fragments of Diogenes of Oenoanda’ Cahiers de Philologie 1: 279-318

Hall, A. 1977: ‘A Sanctuary of Leto at Oenoanda’ Anatolian Studies 27: 193-197

Smith, M.F. 1978: ‘Fifty-five New Fragments of Diogenes of Oenoanda’ Anatolian Studies 28: 39-92

Smith, M.F. 1979: ‘Eight New Fragments of Diogenes of Oenoanda’ Anatolian Studies 29: 69-89

Ling, R. 1981: ‘Building Mk1 at Oenoanda’ Anatolian Studies 31: 31-53

JCoulton, J.J. 1982: ‘Oinoanda: The Doric Building (Mk2)’ Anatolian Studies 32: 45-59

Coulton, J.J. 1982: ‘Termessians at Oinoanda’ Anatolian Studies 32: 115-131

Smith, M.F. 1984: ‘Diogenes of Oenoanda, New Fragments 122-124’ Anatolian Studies 34: 43-57

Stenton, E.C., Coulton, J.J. 1986: ‘Oinoanda: The Water Supply and Aqueduct’ Anatolian Studies 36: 15-59

Coulton, J.J. 1986: ‘Oinoanda: The Agora’ Anatolian Studies 36: 61-90

Smith, M.F. 1988: ‘A Note on Colonel W. M. Leake’ Anatolian Studies 38: 185

Smith, M.F. (ed.) 1992: Diogenes of Oinoanda: The Epicurean Inscription. Naples

Smith, M.F. 1994: ‘New Readings in the Demostheneia Inscription from Oinoanda’ Anatolian Studies 44: 59-64

Milner, N.P., Smith, M.F. 1994: ‘New Votive Reliefs from Oinoanda’ Anatolian Studies 44: 65-76

Eiler, C.F., Milner, N.P. 1995: ‘Q. Mucius Scaevola and Oenoanda: A New Inscription’ Anatolian Studies 45: 73-89

Milner, N.P., Mitchell, S. 1995: ‘An Exedra for Demosthenes of Oenoanda and His Relatives’ Anatolian Studies 45: 91-104

Smith, M.F. 1996: The Philosophical Inscription of Diogenes of Oinoanda. Vienna

Smith, M.F. 1997: The Chisel and the Muse: Diogenes of Oenoanda and Lucretis. Amsterdam

Smith, M.F. 1998: ‘Epicurus’ Kyria Doxa 26 and a new fragment of Diogenes of Oinoanda’ Hyperboreus 4: 193-195

Smith, M.F. 2000: Digging up Diogenes: New Epicurean texts from Oinoanda in Lycia. Stuttgart

Smith, M.F. 2000: ‘Quotations of Epicurus. Common to Diogenes of Oinoanda and Diogenes Laertius’ Hyperboreus 1

Smith, M.F. 2003: Supplement to Diogenes of Oinoanda: The Epicurean Inscription. Naples

Smith, M.F. 2003: ‘Herculaneum and Oinoanda, Philodemus and Diogenes: Comparison of two Epicurean discoveries and Epicurean teachers’ Cronache Ercolanesi 33: 267-278

Smith, M.F. 2004: ‘The title of Diogenes of Oinoanda’s Physics’ in: Ad Fontes. Festschrift für Gerhard Dobesch, edited by Hefther, H. and Tomaschitz, K. Eigenverlag: Vienna, 2004.

Smith, M.F. 2004: ‘The title of Diogenes of Oinoanda’s Physics’ in H. Hefther and K. Tomaschitz (eds.) Ad Fontes. Festschrift für Gerhard Dobesch. Vienna

2013. Oinoanda and the biggest inscription of the ancient world. Deutsches Archäologisches Institut [online]. Available at <http://www.dainst.org/en/project/oinoanda?ft=all> [Accessed 29 July 2013]

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