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Oenoanda


The southern wall of Oenoanda. Photo Marco Prins. Oenoanda: town in Lycia, modern Incealiler. A satellite photo is here.

The ruins of ancient Oenoanda -the picture shows the southern access to the site- are situated on a hilltop that is rather inaccessible. Nevertheless, the inhabitants built a large wall around their town, which is well-preserved. Of course, stones and other elements have been removed by the inhabitants of the neighboring villages, but the site is simply too isolated to be looted. 

Ancient-Warfare.com, the online home of Ancient Warfare magazine
The southern wall of Oenoanda. Photo Marco Prins.
Another result of the difficulty to reach Oenoanda is that only a few archaeologists have paid attention to the site. It was not discovered until the end of the nineteenth century. Between 1884 and 1895, French and Austrian archaeologists identified eighty-eight fragments from a now famous inscription by a man named Diogenes (more...). It was only in the 1968 that professor M.F. Smith started to investigate the remains of the old town and the inscription.

The picture shows the wall of Oenoanda, which is a nice specimen of Hellenistic military architecture. It must have been 10 meters high.

One of the postern gates in the wall of Oenoanda. Photo Marco Prins. One of the postern gates.

Little is known about the history of Oenoanda, although the name is mentioned in Hittite texts, and it is certainly one of the oldest towns in this part of modern Turkey. It is originally not a Lycian town, but was added, together with Cibyra, Balbura, and Bubon, to the Lycian League in 84 BCE.
The eastern wall of Oenoanda. Photo Marco Prins. Another part of the wall of Oenoanda.
A tower in the southeastern part of the city wall. Photo Marco Prins. A tower.
A tower in the southeastern part of the city wall. Photo Marco Prins. The same tower.
A tower in the southeastern part of the city wall. Photo Marco Prins. Interior of the tower, with (below) a loophole. 
Elements of the aqueduct of Oenoanda, included in the southern part of the city wall. Photo Marco Prins. Elements of the aqueduct of Oenoanda, included in the city wall.

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Revision: 22 April 2010
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