The architecture survey in the ›East‹ and the ›West City‹ of Limyra

An architecture survey has been taking place in the lower city of Limyra since 2014. Previously the work was concentrated on the so-called East City where several substantial structures are visible above ground. Through the documentation and mapping of all architectural surface contexts we will gain a better overview of the urban design and development of the various parts of the city.

Objectives and methodology

An architecture survey has been taking place in the lower city of Limyra in collaboration with I. Uytterhoeven (Koç University, Istanbul) since 2014. The original focus was placed on the ›East City‹ where several substantial structures are visible above ground. These include both in situ remains (such as the bishop’s church, the south baths, several remains of buildings, and a building with a double apse) as well as scattered architecture elements not in their original location. With the aim of gaining a better understanding of the urban design and development of this part of the city, all architectural surface contexts were surveyed, identified, photographed, and mapped out with the help of a total station and under the direction of C. Kurtze.

Preliminary results

This work resulted in a first detailed map of the ›East City‹. Together with the results of older excavations and the geophysical survey, this map substantially contributes to our knowledge of the organization and the urban development of ancient Limyra. It becomes apparent that the street crossing through the ›East City‹ from west to east with its arch-shaped course and partially bordered by columns, was the backbone of this urban area. The orientation of the adjoining buildings is aligned with the street. Furthermore, detailed information on the individual quarters of the ›East City‹ was attained: in the western area insulae and several road courses are visible in the terrain. In addition to this, attention was (again) placed on individual buildings such as the bishop’s church and a well-preserved late antique/early Byzantine house in the southeast; it turned out that the bishop’s church is larger than previously thought.

In addition to the already known buildings, previously unknown structures were identified based on architectural fragments. An architrave with the representation of a cross was discovered – likely an architectural element of a church.

Although most architectural remains discovered on the surface date to the late antique/early Byzantine period it is expected that future studies in the ›East City‹ will lead to new information on earlier settlement phases.

Future orientation

In addition to the survey in the ›East City‹ a similar architecture survey is planned for the ›West City‹ of Limyra. This will lead to a more comprehensive picture of the urban development in both parts of the lower city as well as their urban relationship in the course of the various periods.