Herakleia am Latmos by Anneliese Peschlow-Bindokat (ISBN 9758293729) is the rarest and most complete archeological guide you can find, not only about Herakleia itself but also about the much older settlement of Latmos, the entire mountainous area and the place of both cities in the history of Caria. Unfortunately for the English reader, this book is available only in Turkish and German but that should not keep you from investigating.
For those who are not familiar with Herakleia, it will be useful to place it geographically. Today's visitor will find the remains among the town of
Kapikiri at the eastern edge of ,
off the beaten path from better known sites like Priene, Miletus and
Didyma. When the first settlers arrived at Latmos around 1000 BC it
had full access to the sea in the depth of a wide gulf, which today has been
entirely silted up with the alluvia carried along by the Meander River. Eventually, Herakleia was settled as capital
city of Bafa Lake
right next to Latmos. Caria
I find the history of
a very complex and complicated one but this guide really covers every single
aspect of it. After pinpointing the area geographically, attention is given to
the Latmos Mountains
and its first settlers who created intriguing prehistoric wall paintings,
followed by the Hittite occupation and finally the foundation of the Carian
city of .
on the other hand was founded around 300 BC and the author takes us through the
remains of this Hellenistic city, its necropolis and its widespread network of
access roads. Herakleia was above all a sanctuary for the Carian gods. The
history would not be complete without mentioning the traces of Byzantine and
Ottoman occupation, and follow the trail of time all the way to modern
Surprisingly, through these overall gneiss rock formations runs is a wide vein of marble which was quarried for the construction of the famous
Temple of Artemis
Miletus owned its own quarry and there are still column drums lying around that never
made it to the famous Ephesos of Apollo in Didyma. oracle
A final chapter is dedicated to the daring or intrepid visitor, providing a list of several tours through the larger area, including detailed maps and full descriptions.
Overall, the book is richly illustrated with plenty of clear photographs, drawings of reconstructions and location maps; the front and back flaps can be unfolded into extremely useful maps of
and the Latmos Mountains area. I
don't think anyone is left with questions after reading this book!