The ancient city of Caunos stands midway along the channel facing Dalyan. Settlement here is believed to date from 3000 BC by Caunos, the son of Miletos and it later grew into a major port on the border between Lycia and Caria. Sprawling over a broad sloping site overlooking the sea and the delta, the principal monuments to be seen in Caunos are the Acropolis surrounded by city walls, a theatre, four temples, an agora, stoa, nympheon, baths, palestra, churches and a cistern.

Caunos, the son of Miletos, had been indicated as the founder of the city and therefore, it had been named Caunos. The city was first captured by the Persians and then by Alexander in the year 189 B.C., it was made subject to the Kingdom of Rhodes. We know that it continued until the year 167 B.C.

The imposing Lycian rock tombs with their facades curved into the form of temples were the last resting place of the kings of Caunos. The city had two harbours, one for military use and the other for merchants. Inscriptions discovered on the nympheon have been found to cite customs regulations and have thrown most valuable light on the economic life of the city.

Caunos was the subject of the kingdom of Pergamon and was brought directly under the sovereignty of Rome after 133 B.C. You reach the site of the ruins by means of channel adorned with Lycian type tombs belonging to the 4th century B.C. The first place to see is the acropolis of Caunos.

 The northern part of the city wall, which surrounds the acropolis, belongs to the period of Mausolos. The north-western part has Hellenistic qualities. Starting from the harbour are seen the city walls of Cyclopean type belonging to the Archaic Period.

The theatre belonging to the Roman Period is located at the skirt of the acropolis and its southern part is carved in the rock; the other parts are shaped into seats supported by gable roof vaults. There are 33 rows of seats, the scene has collapsed and the part of the orchestra has been filled in.

A temple, revealed by recent excavations, is located at far west of the theatre, and a church and the magnificent walls of the Roman Bath are visible beyond it. Another temple belonging to the Roman Period is located behind the bath. As we go downwards, we see the remains of a wall built in the shape of three-fourths of a circle with a row of columns on it and, behind it, a temple of the Doric order.



Ruins of Kaunos near Dalyan

Rockrombs in the Ruins of Kaunos near Dalyan

A hill in the Ruins of Kaunos near Dalyan

A temple in the Ruins of Kaunos near Dalyan

Ruins of Kaunos near Dalyan by night

Famous tombs in the  Ruins of Kaunos near Dalyan