Lycian Tombs at Fethiye

Amyntas Rock Tombs

Useful Information

Lycian Tombs at Fethiye, Turkey. Public Domain.
Lycian Tombs at Fethiye, Turkey. Public Domain.
Location: Kesikkapı Mahallesi, 48300 Fethiye/Muğla.
In Fethiye, at the Mediterranean coast. On the road 400.
(36.618998, 29.118324)
Open: All year daily 8:30-17.
Fee: Adults TRL 20.
Classification: SubterraneaCave Tomb
Light: n/a
Guided tours: self guided, St=296.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Amyntas Rock Tombs, Kesikkapı, 117. Sk. No:3, 48300 Fethiye/Muğla, Tel: +90-252-614-11-50, Tel: +90-252-6149548.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


4th century BC tombs built by the Lykians.
1850s visited by Charles Texier.


Lycian Tombs at Fethiye, Turkey. Public Domain.
Lycian Tombs at Fethiye, Turkey. Public Domain.

The modern city of Fethiye is located on the place of ancient Telmessos. There are little remains of this city, except for the extraordinary cave tombs. They are the biggest attraction of this small village. The tombs are located in a limestone cliff of a hill south of the city facing north. They offer a great view on the city and its harbour. The ticket office is at the road below, a long staircase with 296 steps leads up to the tombs.

The biggest and most impressive tomb is the Tomb of Amyntas. It bears the inscription that it was the Tomb of Amynthas, son of Hermapias. The huge facade was cut out of the solid rock around the 4th century BC. Like all tombs it is a monolithic tomb, it was not built, it was chiseled out of the massibe rock and actually consists of one single piece of rock. It's actually not possible to date the age of a void, and the rock obviously has a geological age. The tombs are dated by the epigraphic works, the style of the elements of the facade and the inscriptions.

Each tomb has a facade with a sort of triangular roof, which is supported by columns. Ionian style columns are quite common. Below is a sort of basement which is called crepidoma, it looks like huge steps leading up to the facade. If this was a building, this would be the foundation, but obviously it's just a wide staircase leading up, resembling a foundation. Behind the columns is a sort of short antechamber which ends with a wall. In the middle of the wall is a huge door, which is also just a sculpture chiseled out of the rock. A much smaller door actually leads into the burial chamber behind. It was probably once closed by a stone slab, which made the fake door complete. The burial chamber is rectangular and has niches for the bodies on all three sides. They are rather big and probably were used to place a stone sarcophagus.

The Lycians who built the tombs are rather enigmatic. There are not many remains despite the tombs, the biggest problem is the complete lack of written documents. But we know they believed that their dead were carried to the afterlife by winged creatures. That's the reason they placed their honored dead in geographically high places.