Today, I hiked to the Ancient City of Pedasa with tourists from Denmark. Our Turkish guide, Erkan Şehirli, provided commentary on the history of Pedasa and the area. The weather was clear and windy. The vistas were amazing!
Pedasa existed 2,500 to 3,000 years ago in the hills surrounding Bodrum Turkey. During the Medieval period the Knights of Rhodes used stones from Pedasa to build Bodrum Castle. It’s one of the oldest civilizations of the Aegean Region. Walking paths we crossed have ancient cities buried beneath them. Today, the visible remains of Pedasa are a maze of loose rocks and stone walls.
Hike and Views
The hike over a cobbled road led us uphill to breathtaking panoramic views of the Aegean Sea. After winter rains, the vegetation was lush and green with abundant wildflowers. We hiked by grazing cattle and passed turtles slowly making their way along the road.
“More than 20 ancient cities inhabited by Carians and Lelegs still bear witness to the glorious past of the region.”
Leleg and Carian
Pedasa was in the Caria Region of Western Anatolia first inhabited as early as 3000 BC by the indigenous populations of Leleg and Carian. Homer wrote about Mausolus King of Lelegs in the Iliad which details events during the 10th year of the Trojan War. The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus was erected in honor of Mausolus King of Caria.
“Lelegs preferred living in high locations away from the sea so they could watch the coast and protect themselves from hostile attacks by their enemies. In this civilization, the typical masonry structure included circular walls. One interesting aspect of Leleg construction is that materials like cement or plaster were not used to merge rocks.”
Ancient cities in the area include:
• Milas / Mylasa – capital of Caria
• Euromos – temple of Zeus
• Heraclea – captured by Alexander the Great
• Priene – designed by famous architect Hippodamos
• Mıletus – queen of the Ionian cities
• Labranda – sacred shrines of Caria dedicated to Zeus
• Magnesia – founded by Agamemnon’s soldiers after the Trojan War
• Pamukkale – known for thermal water and white calcium terraces
It was a satisfying day!