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Wednesday, 10 March 2010


Our next destination is Alinda. We follow the main road. Alinda is 31 km. west of Çine and 23 km. west of Alabanda. It is built atop a hill overlooking the Karpuzlu River Valley. The city is surprisingly well protected... antique settlement. A similar glorious appearance as we had seen in Alabanda greets us especially when we arrive at the amphitheatre. According to Umar the Wise man, the word Alinda is taken from either the Luwi or Kar language and means “the light”. Ancient writer Arrianus describes the city as “The stronghold of Karia”. Known as the “İjalanta” in Hittite documents, the city was a member of Attika-Delos Sea Confederacy between 451-450 B.C for a short time. Alinda, when compared with its neighbor Alabanda is fairly in dark in terms of its history but the ruins of the city in the Karpuzlu River region, which had been known as “Demirci River”, is extraordinary. The strange side to the remains that the area has never been subject to archaeological excavations. The settlement had been visited by Chandler in 1765; but the short and discouraging information does not explain how the structures had been so well protected. Chandler mistakenly thought that this was Alabanda; the real identity of the city had been discovered by Sir Charles Fellows and others following examination of coins discovered in the area. However, there has been no finds of any kind of scripts confirming that this is Alinda; nevertheless, it is certain that their finding is correct. Queen Ada is exiled to Alinda nothing is known about the history of Alinda town accept that it is certainly a Karian settlement. The only record existing about the city is connected to Ada, the queen sister of King Mausolos. In about 340 B.C, queen Ada had been dethroned by her brother Piksodoros and exiled to Alinda and partially continued her royalty here. Planning to regain control over the throne, the queen did not have to wait long. When Alexander the Great had arrived in Karia in 334 B.C, queen Ada went to greet him and offered to hand over Alinda and help him in his fight against her brother. In addition, she did not forget to adopt him as her son, which would only be expected of a self confident queen. In return for this she wanted her throne back. Alexander’s reply to this was extremely polite because of his soft nature; he refused to take over Alinda and gladly accepted her adoption offer. Later, when Halikarnassos, except the two capes, was conquered, invasion of the capes were assigned to Ada and when this was complete, he declared Ada once more the queen of Karia. Ada’s relationship with Alexander is very important for Alinda. Byzantium grammarian Stephanus says in his book “Ethnica” that on of the 18 cities called Alexandria is in Karia lands and is known as “ Alexandria near Latmos; in addition he suggests that this city has an Adonis Sacred Site, which houses an Aphrodite sculpture carved by Praksiteles. Nowhere else is this Alexandria mentioned in history and it is clear that the name refers to one of the many names temporarily given to the cities with no Hellenic heritage, depending on the rulers in the Hellenic era ( just like it is with Alabanda). Some researchers suggest that the said city is in Heraclia just below Latmos and yet others accept that it is most likely to be Alinda. It is only natural that the name of the city could have been changed following capture by such a conqueror, which had been in a close relationship with the queen. In addition, Alinda is definitely the most suitable of the cities, which we could say is “close to Latmos”. Even if for a brief period, Alinda appears in the stage of history in Hellenic times. In an inscription dug in Karpuzlu, it is mentioned that there are two loyal assistants to Olympikhos. It is highly likely that Olympikhos had a garrison in Alinda or somewhere close to it. But this is not a definitive opinion; in reality we may only conclude that these two assistants were simply Alinda citizens. Even more, it may be suspected that these two inscriptions were brought to Karpuzlu from somewhere else. Alinda too becomes Hellenized Despite all the lack of information, it is certain that Alinda fast became Hellenized following Alexander’s conquer. One of the inscriptions mentions of a clan named Erectheis. This name is directly adopted from Athenians who had a clan of the same name dedicated to mythological king Erectheos. If the inscription definitely belongs to Alinda, this is an important point and if Alinda does have a sculpture carved by Praksiteles in the year 3, it would mean that the city had lost its Karian characteristics in a very short time. However, none of the theories as to what exactly had happened has been proven; nevertheless, the structures which survived until today are proof themselves. The amphitheatre and the grand market building have certainly been constructed in the Hellenic era; the silver coinage show the most circulated Heracles type samples seems to have been started in approximately 200 B.C. It is most likely that the city walls were built in earlier times, probably at the time and by the efforts of Mausolos. Since we know that Arrian described the city as “one of the strongholds”, it seems that the city had a very good defense system when Alexander arrived. Alinda, just like any other city of Karian heritage, had been a member of the Khrysaroen confederation. There is no other information recorded about Alinda when it was included in the Asia state or under the protection of Roman Empire. The city continued coinage until the year 3. A.D and became a religious center under the patronage of Stauropolis (Aphrodisias). Location of the city The city proves Arria’s description as to how extraordinary it is; atop a hill of about 200 m. Elevation, which is connected to a higher hill with a ridge on the southwestern side, the ridge is also part of the city compounds and all other sides are surrounded by cliffs. Smooth and geometrically cut stone city walls are well protected. These walls surround the peak and the southeastern ridges of the hill; however, the northern ridges are not walled. Gross Markets in Antiquity. Today, the visitors who climb up to the city will arrive at the market building of the city first. Similar structures have been discovered in various other sites such as in Assos of Troas region, Aigai of Aiolis region, Seleukia of Pamphylia region but none of them are as protected as this one. All of the 99 meter facade and majority of the 15.2 meter high is intact. The building consists of three storeys and the terrace of the building is at the same level as the Agora, where they connect. The ground floor opens to a terrace on the South. The terrace is partly carved into the rocky ridge partly supported by walls constructed between the rocks and pillars. The ground floor is divided into two by a continuous wall right in the middle. On either side of the walls are small rooms divided back to back by separation walls. It is clear that the rooms at the front were used as shops. There are twelve main doors altogether. Two of these are vaulted entries and ten of them are square shaped entries. There are single entries to the rooms at the back. The rooms at the front are all the same in terms of size and each has its own entry. Some rooms inside open to two or more other rooms. Almost all of the back rooms are full of debris. Since the ground elevation is higher towards the eastern side, the last four entries are higher than the others. The short walls at this end have a vaulted entry. Daylight enters the rooms at the front through the main doors as well as “V” shaped Windows. The back rooms can only be illuminated by the light entering through the front rooms. Some rooms have niches on the beads but no doors. The middle floor is lower in height than the ground floor. This floor is divided into two right along the length with single line of double half columns. The columns are placed on top section of the dividing wall in the floor below; however, except some, the load is not placed on the separation sections of the rooms below. The columns are interspaced on a 45, 7 m. section, though the rooms below are various in size. Illumination is achieved through narrow and long Windows at the facade. The Window entries are slightly curved towards inside in order to disperse light. In addition, there is a large window entry on the short side wall at the northern end. Although there is no sign of any type of separation in this floor, it would be possible to divide the room into sections using timber. The large window seems to be too big for a single room and it seems as if it was consciously designed to illuminate the whole floor. One cannot determine whether this floor had an entry from below or from above, nor the purpose of the floor can be determined. It is possible that it had been used as storage spaces by the shops below. The upper floor, which is connected to the southern end of Agora, is also divided into two in length by a single file of columns and nothing mush is left of the actual floor structure. Some of these columns, placed directly on top of the double line columns are still standing. The columns are ungrooved and only the bases are surrounded by rims. On the northern section facing the Agora could have been a line of columns but today nothing is left. Some sections of the western wall are still standing but the others are long gone. There are five stencil shaped blocks separated by straight blocks connected to a 3,05 m. high corner column left on the western wall. This style of wall construction is entirely different from the construction style of the floors below. The corner column on the eastern corner seems also to be a stencil shaped block and it is likely that there were window entries on the southern wall. It is not known how the remaining design of this floor but it is clear that the floors were covered with timber, just like in the middle level. The Agora The Agora is a flat area continuing in length of the market building and is over 30.5 meters in width. The back section is bordered with a retaining wall constructed over the slight slope on the hill side. As is customary, it is surrounded by a stoa; however, not much of the columns remain today. There has been no findings of any pedestals proving that the Agora had been adorned with statues; never mind any statues, it is interesting to point out that not even a statue pedestal has been found anywhere on the site. An amphitheatre with a view The amphitheatre is also well protected and is just as charming. A middle sized structure, the amphitheatre is still intact with thirty five seating lines but the bush and the roots of olive trees have moved many sections of the stone structures. Part of the single diazoma back wall and a greater part of the ambulatorium, meaning the open gallery right at the top still remains. In contrast with the rule set by the Roman Architect Vitrivius and mostly ignored, the amphitheatre faces the South East. Retaining walls of the Cavea as well as the original height of the analemma are still mostly erect. These walls have been constructed in line with the Hellenistic smooth stone masonry. A vaulted entrance on each corner permits entry to the diazoma. The entry on the northeastern wall is 2.74 m2 or 3.05 meter higher than the original entry level. This shows that the level of the surface has changed and it is only natural that such change takes place on a hill side over time. The most interesting section of the amphitheatre structure is the stage building. The ground section of the building is covered by earth. However, architectural excavations have unearthed almost all of the stage. The stage building does not exist but the stone columns of 1.22 meter high still remain on the facade section of the building. The stage is supported by plaster and large pieces of cut stone 2, 13 m. in length and 91 cm. in width. Many of these stone pieces are mostly intact; the center section is more damaged. The stage extends approximately 5, 18 m. from the stage building and ends with paradosses on each side. All of these are proof that the structure had been re-designed in the Roman era. The stages are usually extended inwards of the Cavea in order to permit actors to enter comfortably. The paradosses are covered and new vaulted entries have been constructed in the more meticulous Greco-Roman amphitheatres, such has the one in Ephesus; but this was not done in Alinda. As such, the stage in Alinda amphitheatre still remains mostly the same as its original, except for the paradosses. Lower section of the stage is underground, thus preventing measurement of the height. The Stone Tower There remains a grand tower immediately below the peak. Consisting of two levels, this tower is constructed with a perfect stone masonry. The ground level has two entries located on connecting walls. The upper jamb of the one on the South is approximately 3.05 meters in length and the other has a triangular space in order to decrease the weight on the jamb; the upper floor had probably consisted of a timber balcony supported by stone pillars and had a large door and few windows. There is a tunnel entry close to the tower, which is thought to lead to the amphitheatre; no one has ever recorded entry. The other end of the tunnel is just above the amphitheatre area. There is a circular structure of 15,2m. in diameter right at the peak, the purpose of which is unknown. The foundations of a smaller structure, thought to be a temple, has been discovered immediately west of this structure. If we consider these two rooms to be part of a single temple, it has a pronaosa and a cella; even if it had columns than, none remains today. The Acropolis and cisterns A higher peak is reached through a ridge and there you will see an acropolis of residences only. The residential section is surrounded by a wall of various heights from 1, 83 m. to 2, 13 m., also of high quality masonry. The enclosed 228.6 meter strip of land is slightly sloping towards west and has been divided into two by a wall across its narrowest section. There had probably been an entry at this wall; but only slight traces can be seen. There is an annex on the southern side at the lower end. This is also encircled with a wall with interspaced towers. 2,59m. wide door provides entry to lower level. The top block, one of the six on one side of the door exhibits an arch towards inside as if the beginning section of a vault. The door is supported by a tower connected to it. When we look at the overall site, remains of public places all across the settlement are clearly displayed. Outline of the walls of the structures can be determined looking at the entry columns and inlet sills and many uncut stones. There are six normal sized underground cisterns in Alinda. They are at least 5.18 meters in depth and the bad quality wall works have been plastered with a 60 mm thick material and the traces of red color plaster material can still be seen. This second acropolis is connected to the first acropolis with a charming and strong wall and towers. This wall passes over a narrow and deep river passing through South from the ridge and continues over the ridge. But only partial remains can be seen. The aqueduct still stands There is a fairly well protected between the second acropolis and the next hill. Although it is nice and strong, the masonry is not up to scratch. The four vaults and remains of a 1.83 meter entry on the wall are still intact. It is possible to walk through the aqueduct but the main surface level is much lower under the ground. There is a water channel on top sides of the vaults consisting of parallel cut base and cover. Five of these blocks still remain. The tombs and sepulchers All around the city, even over the far corner of the hill sides beyond the aqueduct are many graves. The most extensive one has been carved over a massive rock and covered with heavy lids as is evident in “Karian” style; however, some of them consist of an approximately 46 cm2.(18 square inch) holes and a extending side. In addition to these are many sarcophagi. These sarcophagi do not have any relieves or extensions on the shorter sides and are simple blocks. In addition, there are many rock tombs which have been transformed in according with modern usage. There are no inscriptions on any of the tombs; however, there are three holes on one of the sarcophagi near the aqueduct, which seems to be bored in order to hang a bronze name sign. The inscriptions discovered in Alinda are really close to none. The only evident example is the piece used in construction of the window of the mosque and a few others here and there. Similarly, there are not many art Works in the city. The statues, altars, relieve and marble Works have all but completely disappeared. If the citizens of Alinda have really been a fan of artworks and purchased a statue from Praksiteles, it is surprising not to see any traces of it whatsoever. On the other hand, one can see a frieze block used on the construction of one of the houses in the city. This frieze depicts eight warriors fighting and must have been taken from a temple. If so, the structure where it was taken from is today non-existing. Our one day trip to Alabanda and Alinda had been a joyful event when we left Karpuzlu. This time we take another route and drove through the damaged old Labranda road within Mylasa borders. I have used and sites as my reference in writing this article and information can be sought from the museums as well as on the internet. However, we must point out the visitors be better choose spring time in their discovery journey. DICTIONARY Agora: Market place or the business section of the city. Acropolis: The upper city where the gods reside. Altar: Where offerings to gods were placed in ancient times. Ambulatorium: Uncovered gallery. Analemma: The retaining wall surrounding the antique theatres or the Cavea on two sides. Ataleia: Tax exemption. Bouleuterion: Enclosed building where the city council met in antique Greece. Cavea: The seating sections in Roman amphitheatres. Cella: The sacred section in the temple where the sculptures of gods were kept. Conventus: The regional court center, known also as Kibyratis, including part of Phrygia cities in antiquity. Diazoma: The main passageway cutting through the Cavea horizontally Helios Priest: a Priests of Helios the son god Mylasa: Today’s Milas Necropolis: Graveyard Neokoros: Temple Guard Parados: The side entries between the stage and the seating sections Pılaster: Square shaped and half columns connected to walls. Pronaos: The entry room to a cella (naos) usually situated on the east section of a temple. In other words, the section between the front of the cella and the anta walls.

Article :Yigit Uygur. Translation Dogan Sahin

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