Fethiye Museum


The Fethiye Museum is a delightful museum, located off the main street in the center of town next to a school.  It has many Lycian artifacts, some of which were found during the excavations of Fethiye (ancient Telmessos).

Exhibits include Lycian pieces from the Bronze, Archaic, Hellenistic and Roman ages and from Byzantine times. There are coins from various periods, pre-historical and historical ornaments, statues, busts etc.  Also pieces of a tomb from Tlos, grave steles, offering altars, jewelry, bronze pieces, amphorae, column pedestals and capitals and earthenware vases.  One very significant find displayed here is the very important 'Trilingual Stele' from Letoon, bearing inscriptions in Greek, Lycian and Aramaic, which is crucial in the deciphering of the Lycian language.  There is also a separate ethnographic section with pieces from the Menteşe and Ottoman times.  Outside the museum is an open-air gallery with many interesting pieces.

Unfortunately, some of the Lycian exhibits do not have descriptions and not many of them describe the city or area that the piece originated in, this may be due to the fact that many of the artifacts were confiscated from looters and this information has been lost.  But the museum is still very much worth a visit!

The museum is open every day except Mondays, Tues-Sun 8am-5pm. At the entrance of the museum books in various languages especially on archaeological and historical subjects are offered for sale.

Below are some photos I took at the museum during a recent trip there, just a sampling of what is on exhibit.

Click any of the photos below for a larger image

These are two very interesting forms of burial.  Unfortunately, the exhibits have no descriptions attached.
Hellenistic figurines

Roman era figurines

Bronze pieces, including a phallic amulet (right), a Roman period
charm against the evil eye.  These were fairly common in the late Roman era, especially in the outlying regions of the Empire.

Jewelry, incuding this headress, earrings and beads
 from Pinara 3rd century BC

The 'Trilingual Stele' from Letoon with the inscriptions that were the most important factor for helping scholars understand the Lycian language. More information about this stele

6th century BC statue of Eni Mahanahi (an ancient mother goddess) from Letoon. Read more about the statue here.

Pottery 4th and 6th centuries BC

Hellenistic pottery, I'm not sure when the pieces in the last picture date to.

Pottery from 7-6th century BC and from circa 2,000 BC

Pottery from the Roman period


"Stelae of Promise": these were used to honor the realization of a wish made to the gods as a sort of thanks-giving.  They usually feature the Anatolian rider deity Kakasbos holding the club of Hercules, riding upon a horse moving to the right.  On the pedestal the reason for the wish would be inscribed as well as the wish-maker's name and the name of the god to whom the wish was made.  This type of stelae was especially used in Cybryra, in the northwest region of Lycia.

Two of the museum's stelae read "Polemon, son of Diogenes, fulfills his promise to the god Kakasbos" and "Petraios fulfills his promise to the god Kakasbos."

1. 2.

Grave Stelae: the Lycian followed the custom also often practiced in Mesopotamia, Egypt and Greece of erecting a stone column or plate inscribed with an ephitaph.  These stele had considerable importance during the Hellenistic period and the museum's stelae are mainly from this time, their form influenced by that of temples.  The museum's examples are generally sculpted from hard rock, rather than marble.

The dead with close friends, family and servants are sculpted in relief.  The figure in the middle, generally laying or sitting, is the deceased and the stele's inscription below generally bears infomation regarding who-and-whom had the stele made, with their father's name mentioned.

1. "Menekles, son of Menippose, from Hygarma, good man fare-thee-well!  Sebina Kindis, daughter of Thon."

2. "Dionysios and Doras dedicated (this stele) to the memory of their sister Arsasis."

3. 4.

3. "Dionysios, son of Dionysios, son of Theodoros, and Xenarchis, daughter of Dorotheos, (dedicated to the memory of) Artemisia, their daughter."

4. "Euagoras, son of Pasinikos, (dedicated the stele) to his son and to the memory of his adoptive foundling Dikaios."


1.  2.  3. 

1. and 2.  Figures of women, marble, Roman era, copies.

3. Believed to be a statue of Athena from the early Roman period


4. "Sculpture of Young Girl with Dove" a charming statue of a child affectionately holding a dove showing balanced composition and fine workmanship. Her ears have small holes in them for the insertion of earrings. The statue is a copy from the Roman period.
5.  6. 

5. Statue of a woman found at the excavation of the amphitheatre in Telmessos (Fethiye), second century AD.

6. Life-size statue of a woman found in Fethiye, probably the wife of a high-ranking man. 


7.  8.

7. A Hellenistic caryatid

8. Head from a bust (the museum has several busts and heads from statues), believed to be that of a Roman emperor.


An altar, "dedicated by the Chief Prophet Markos Mettios to Dionysus."
The museum has many altars on display.


A sculpture of a cow (or bull?) and a relief carving.

A lovely sculpted piece from Oenoanda, I think it
 may be part of the lid of a sarcophagus
Byzantine candleholders, incense burners and oil lamps
Hellenistic Roman era oil lamps

Roman era glass 1st centuries BC and AD


Open-air gallery in the garden

Lion sarcophagus lid (one of two identical lids)
Views of some parts of the garden
An Altar
More lions
A freize from an amphitheatre
Olive grinding stones from the Roman period

Even more lions!