Carved into the cliffs of Southwest Turkey are hundreds of rock-cut tombs that resemble majestic Grecian temples.
Dating back to the 4th century, the Lycian King Tombs of Kaunos feature striking Greek-style pillars and intricate hand-carved reliefs depicting gods, angels and spirits. Inside, ancient monoliths and limestone-lined chambers mark the final resting place of the Lycian elite.
Believing that winged spirits would carry the souls of their dead to the afterlife, the Lycians – an ancient people who inhabited the bays between Turkey’s Antalya and Fethiye – buried their most respected members of society high up on the cliffs overlooking the emerald-green Dalyan River.
Today, the elaborate graves form part of the UNESCO-recognised Ancient City of Kaunos, a 2,500-year-old archaeological site also home to a 5,000-seat Hellenistic theatre, a rock-cut Roman bath, and several Lycian temples and churches.