Patara - Akdam Temple-tomb

Patara - Akdam Temple Tomb

This large tomb is a unique example of a temple-tomb at Patara since it is relatively well-preserved.  The back of the tomb can be seen from the road before the ticket office (see photo below) and a path leads down to it (it starts north of the tomb from the road).  The tomb dates to the second quarter of the third century AD.

The tomb faces west overlooking what was the harbor (now a marsh) and it is elevated on an eight-step podium that measures 14 x 8.75 m. and is 12 m. high.  It once looked like a contemporary Roman prostylos (columns only in front) temple with four Corinthian columns.

A single burial chamber, 2 x 5 m., was found to hold fragments of three sarcophagi (presumably placed on benches on the east, south and north sides).  The sarcophagi originated in Athens and were decorated with Amazon figures, a rarity in Anatolia.  In those days, such sarcophagi were quite expensive and show the amount of money that was available to some Patarans at this time, even as the Roman empire was crumbling.

This tomb is mostly likely related to the nearby Marcia temple-tomb as both forms are similar and the excellent quality and origin of the tombs' sarcophagi match each other. 

Click to enlarge photos below



Patara - Akdam and Marcia temple tombs

1. Akdam temple-tomb
2. Marcia temple-tomb
3. Patara National Park ticket office on the road to the beach


Note: Information on this page is from the book Patara: The History and Ruins of The Capital City of Lycian League by Dr. Fahri Işıki (head excavator of Patara), Orkun and Ozan Medya Hizmetleri A.Ş. 2000.  I believe this is a limited edition book and unfortunately I don't know where it can be purchased.