Alabanda Ancient City

Alabanda Ancient City

Alabanda is an ancient city located approximately 7 kilometers west of Çine in modern-day Turkey. It was founded in the 4th century BCE, and its name may have originated from the words "ala," meaning horse, and "banda," meaning victory or competition. The town was part of the satrapy of Maussolus, who was the son of Hecatomnus, a Carian aristocrat. Maussolus had obtained the satrapy of Caria in 392/391 from the Achaemenid king Artaxerxes II Mnemon, which meant that Alabanda was under indirect Achaemenid rule. The city also had a temple dedicated to Zeus Chrysaor.

After the conquest of Alexander the Great, Alabanda became a subject of rivalry between his successors, the Antigonids and Seleucids. At the end of the third century BCE, the city was renamed Antiochia of Chrysaorians. However, after the defeat of Seleucid king Antiochus III at Magnesia by the Romans in 190 BCE, this name was no longer used.

The Treaty of Magnesia, a peace agreement between the Romans and the Seleucid kingdom in 190 BCE, marked the end of Seleucid domination over Alabanda. In 40 BCE, a Roman rebel named Quintus Labienus and a Parthian army occupied the city. The citizens retaliated by slaughtering Labienius' garrison after they had looted the city of all its valuables before retreating. Under Roman rule, which lasted for about 250 years after 40 CE, Alabanda thrived and prospered.

Alabanda Ancient City

The ancient city of Alabanda was surrounded by walls that enclosed an area of 4-5 square kilometers. Today, parts of the Hellenic walls and their towers can still be seen. The remains of the old agora, measuring 112 x 72 meters, have been identified, and just north of it stands a rectangular building measuring 22 x 35 meters, which served as a multifunctional meeting hall. Beyond that, the main gate of the city is still visible.

To the south of the agora and west of the modern village of Doğanyurt are the remains of a temple built in the Ionic style during the 2nd century BCE. This temple, measuring 35 meters in width and 22 meters in length, was dedicated to Apollo Isotimos, which means "equal in honor" to Zeus Chrysaor, and divine emperors. Parts of a frieze depicting an Amazonomachy were found at this site.

In the southeast of Doğanyurt, there is a well-preserved Hellenistic theater with façades measuring 19 meters in width. Additionally, on the south slopes of the city, there are foundations that are believed to have supported a temple dedicated to Artemis during the 2nd century BCE.

Outside the city walls, there is an ancient cemetery with many tombs. Inscriptions on some of the sarcophagi indicate the professions of those buried there.