Survey of Kibyratis

Location: near Gölhisar; Burdur Province

Years: 2001-2007

Director: Thomas Corsten

Participants: F. Landuyt, K. A. Gay, S. Japp, C. Kokkinia, O. Hülden, M. Stoll, B. Seitz, J. Karch, C. Doni, M. Seyer, R. Hügli, C. Berns, Isa Eryurt, Şükrü Gökalp

Government Representatives: Z. Akdoğan (2002), S. Alpalsan Arca (2004), Habibe Bükler (2005), Ersin Atakal (2006), Mustafa Demirel (2007)

Funding: Craven Committee (Oxford), Seminar für Alte Geschichte und Epigraphik (University of Heidelberg)


Kibyratis is an interesting site with a varied cultural history.  Particularly its inscriptions had been a point of interest and study for many scholars.  The Kibyratis Project was begun in 1995 with support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft.  One of the project aims was to publish all Greek and Latin inscriptions from Kibyra and surrounding regions.  This was done, and the resulting publication included 450 texts.  Another goal was to examine the inscriptions and other sources, such as literature, coins, and architecture, as a way of learning more about the site and surrounding settlements. 

Survey work in 2001 focused on finding evidence of human activity in the region: cemeteries, settlements, cult-places, etc.  They were mostly interested in Hellenistic or Roman sites, but investigated some höyüks dating from the Bronze Age to Byzantine periods.  They found what used to be an island in Lake Gölhisar, featuring ancient walls and pottery, and also discovered a site that they tentatively identified as Sinda.  Other interesting sites, connected by ancient roads, were located. 

The 2002 season of fieldwork was aimed at preparing a map of Kibyra’s city plan.  They used a compass and measuring tapes to investigate the walls, streets, and entrances around the upper part of the city.  The wall was studied closely, and looked as though it had been built quickly.  Spolia and inscriptions were found within it.  Researchers also examined the highest point of the site, finding remnants of an early church and another building.  They also took three days exploring the immediate periphery of the city. 

The project had two main goals: to explore and document Kibyra’s ancient ruins, and to find remains in its environs in order to better understand the region’s political, social, and cultural history.  The former was the point of focus in 2003, and this time a total station was used in investigating the agora and city walls.  They dated them to the late third century AD, and determined that the city had likely been abandoned during a siege.  The purpose of the complex at the site’s highest point remained unclear, but evidence pointed to the possibility of it having been a public building or perhaps a monumental tomb near a potters’ workshop.  The former island was revisited, and some Lycian-type rock-cut tombs were discovered in the surrounding regions.  Many inscriptions were discovered throughout the course of fieldwork.

Between 16 August and 5 September 2004 fieldwork continued.  They focused on the streets of the eastern city and the agora and potters’ corner.  They completed the survey of the rock-cut tombs, and discovered another in the process; all four were measured, drawn, and photographed.  They noted their distribution: all were along the line of an ancient road connecting two lakes. 

The next season of fieldwork occurred between 8 and 28 August 2005.  They recorded some new inscriptions from Gölhisar, and continued to examine the region for rock-cut tombs.  Two more of the Lycian style were discovered, also along the ancient road, and duly recorded.  Research in the ancient city of Boubon was undertaken: they prepared to draw a city plan, and investigated the territory.  Remnants of a fortification were found towards the top of the site. 

From 13 August to 21 September 2006 researchers undertook fieldwork at Boubon, Kibyra, and the region around Yehilova.  More rock-cut tombs were discovered and recorded, and an interesting limestone block was found near Karamanlı.  Eleven new texts were discovered.  Fortifications at Boubon were again investigated, and one structure was found to be pre-Hellenistic and to contain approximately 50 rooms.  Another large fortified site was found near the modern town of Yehilova.

The last season of fieldwork occurred between 14 and 30 September 2007.  It was primarily an epigraphic survey taking place in and around Kibyra, Olbasa, and Boubon.  Altogether, 15 new texts were discovered, and some known inscriptions were found again and recorded.  More Lycian-type rock-cut tombs were located and recorded. 


Anatolian Archaeology 7: 17; 8: 20; 9: 26-27; 10: 22-23; 11: 27-28; 12: 25-26; 13: 18-19


Bean, G.E. 1956: ‘Notes and inscriptions from the Cibyratis and Caralitis’ Annual of the British School at Athens 51:136-56

Milner, N.P. 1998: An Epigraphical Survey in the Kibyra-Olbasa Region, Conducted by A.S. Hall. Oxford

Hall 1994: ‘Sinda’ in D.H. French (ed.), Studies in the History and Topography of Lycia and Pisidia in Memoriam A.S. Hall. London: 48-52

Corsten, T. 2002: ‘Die Inschriften von Kibyra’ Inschriften griechischer Städte aus Kleinasien 60. Bonn

Gay, K.A., Corsten, T. 2006: ‘Lycian tombs in the Kibyratis and the extent of Lycian culture’ Anatolian Studies 56:47-60

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