Lycia (Lykia, Λυκία) was a geopolitical region in Anatolia in what are now the provinces of Antalya and Muğla on the southern coast of Turkey, and Burdur Province inland. Known to history since the records of ancient Egypt and the Hittite Empire in the Late Bronze Age, it was populated by speakers of the Luwian language group. Lycia fought for the Persians in the Persian Wars, but on the defeat of the Achaemenid Empire by the Greeks, it became intermittently a free agent.

After a brief membership in the Athenian Empire, it seceded and became independent (its treaty with Athens had omitted the usual non-secession clause), was under the Persians again, revolted again, was conquered by Mausolus of Caria, returned to the Persians, and went under Macedonian hegemony at the defeat of the Persians by Alexander the Great. Due to the influx of Greek speakers and the sparsity of the remaining Lycian speakers, Lycia was totally Hellenized under the Macedonians. The Lycian language disappeared from inscriptions and coinage.

The ancient Lycians are among the most enigmatic people of antiquity because little historical record has been left behind them. But what we do know pieced together a culture that is fascinating. they were culturally distinct from the rest of the ancient world at the time. It is said that the Lycians believed that a mythical winged creature would carry them off into the afterlife, which is the reason for the position of their tombs on cliffs.

There are several types of Lycian tombs, the most common of which is the rock-cut tomb. The earliest examples of these are said to have been carved in the 5th century BC, and can be found in places such as Myra and Amasia. Beside revealing their interesting believes about death, the tombs are also reflections of domestic life. The tombs are often carved like the façade of Lycian houses, and usually have one or two levels, but sometimes even three.  In addition, the tombs usually held more than one body, most likely of people who were related to each other. Thus, it seems that familial ties and kinship were maintained even after death.

Around twenty major sites remain today with the Lycians' unusual funerary architecture, including incredible rock-cut tombs carved into cliff faces dominating the breathtaking unspoiled land of Lycia.

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