Kınık – Xanthos
Xanthos is located dramatically high above the Xanthos River (Esen Çayı). Two of Homer’s heroes are from here, Lord Sarpedon and faultless Glaucos who came from the distant, whirling waters of Xanthos. One of the most heartrending stories of history, told by Herodotus, is of the defense of the city against attacking Persians about 540 BC. When the Lycians realized that they would lose, the men collected their wives, children, slaves and all their other possesions, locked them in the citadel, set fire to it, and then sallied forth to die every man fighting against the enemy. This gruesome story was repeated in 42 BC when Brutus attacked the city trying to get enough money to pay for his fight against the enemy. This gruesome story was repeated in 42 BC when Brutus attacked the city trying to get enough money to pay for his fight against Mark Anthony and Octavian. But the present power and romance of Xanthos are largely in its monuments, almost all of which are in the British Museum in London. Some few pieces are in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum, some fewer are still in situ. Those in London, dating between the 6th and the 4th centuries BC, were carried there around 1840 by Sir Charles Fellows.More recently the French archaeologist Henri Metzger has worked here. The Nereid Monument (only the base is in Xanthos), the Harpy Tomb, the Lion Tomb and the Pavaya Tomb are best seen in London, although plaster casts now place some of the monuments in Xanthos. Also to be seen on the site are a Roman theater, the Lycian acropolis, the 5th century BC Inscribed Pillar (covered with still undeciphered Lycian), a Byzantine monastery on the Roman acropolis and a Roman archway. The monastery may be on the site of an earlier Roman temple.
About 5 km west across the Esen Çayı rom Xanthos is the Lycian shrine dedicated to Leto. In myty, Letoo was tge darkrobed, gentle wife or mistress of Zeus and the mother of Apollo and Artemis. In one account she was chased by jeolous Hera until she gave birth to the twins on Delos; in another the birthplace was at the source of the Xanthos River. One stroy says that shepherds angrily refused to let her drink from a fountain when she was thirsty; she turned them into frogs in punishment, and as frogs in punishment, and as frogs they countinue to croak angrily in the Letoon. Another story says that wolves helped her find the Xanthos River. In thanks to them she named the country Lycia: Lykos in Greek means wolf. When Niobe presumed to pride herself over Leto for her six sons and six daughters, Apollo and Artemis killed them and left Niobe to turn to stone on Mt. Sipylus (Manisa Dağı).
The adjacent temples have been excavated, the larges, a 3rd century BC building, being consecrated to Leto. Near these a 4th century BC inscription written in Greek, Lycian and Aramaic has been found, one which may help unlock the Lycian language. A public fountain, a 4th century AD monastery, and a good-sized Hellenistic theater are here; some of the in the local museum; some are in the Antalya museum.