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‘Caunus is a magical site, opposite Dalyan, perched between mountains and river and half-submerged in reedy marshland. Caunus (Kaunos) is now celebrated for its row of tombs carved into a cliff-face. These are of exceptional grandeur – Carian rock tombs are usually carved into rock below ground and sealed with a stone lid. Excavations in the city have also revealed a theatre, an early basilica church, a temple, a stoa, a library and a curious circular structure identified as a sanctuary for the worship of a betyl, or pyramidal sacred stone. Hellenistic walls drape the surrounding hills with medieval towers added to the old acropolis.’ (Barnaby Rogerson, Cornucopia 18

In the same issue, Christian Tyler, who sailed in with a party of happy classicists, recalls how ‘Cattle grazed over the ruins of Caunus, and a chorus of frogs burst into song from the southern harbour, the Leech Lake (Sülüklü Göl), minutes after the ship’s company had completed its rendition of Aristophanes’s The Frogs. “Bre-ke-ke-kex, ko-ax, ko-ax,” they sang, echoing the lines the dramatist wrote for them two and a half millennia ago.’

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Issue 66, December 2023 Turkey’s Centenary Issue
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