Alexandria's founded by Alexander

Alexandria's founded by Alexander the Great (by year BC): 334 Alexandria in Troia (Turkey) - 333 Alexandria at Issus/Alexandrette (Iskenderun, Turkey) - 332 Alexandria of Caria/by the Latmos (Alinda, Turkey) - 331 Alexandria Mygdoniae - 331 Alexandria (Egypt) - 330 Alexandria in Areia (Herat, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria of the Prophthasia/in Dragiana/Phrada (Farah, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Arachosia (Kandahar, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Caucasus (Begram, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria of the Paropanisades (Ghazni, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria Eschate or Ultima (Khodjend, Tajikistan) - 329 Alexandria on the Oxus (Ai-Khanoum OR Termez, Afghanistan) - 328 Alexandria in Margiana (Merv, Turkmenistan) - 326 Alexandria Nicaea (on the Hydaspes, India) - 326 Alexandria Bucephala (on the Hydaspes, India) - 325 Alexandria Sogdia - 325 Alexandria Rambacia (Bela, Pakistan) - 325 Alexandria Oreitide - 325 Alexandria in Opiene (confluence of Indus & Acesines, India) - 325 Alexandria on the Indus - 325 Alexandria Xylinepolis (Patala, India) - 325 Alexandria in Carminia (Gulashkird, Iran) - 324 Alexandria-on-the-Tigris/Antiochia-in-Susiana/Charax (Spasinou Charax on the Tigris, Iraq) - ?Alexandria of Carmahle? (Kahnu)

Thursday, December 28, 2017

The ancient city of Phaselis is sinking

It is a well-known phenomenon that the southern coast of Turkey is sinking and this can easily be seen off the coast of Andriake where tourists take tours in boats with a glass bottom to visit the remains of the sunken city of nearby Kekova. This is due to the fact the African platonic plate is pushing against and sliding over the Asian plate.

In antiquity, Phaselis was a privileged anchoring place since sailors could profit from the sheltered Southern Harbor which is generally used by today’s tourists or the Northern Harbor that was and is accessible under all weather conditions, either by southwesterly and northeasterly winds. The Naval Harbor, in turn was located deep inside the Northern Harbor, and clearly was extremely well protected. The harbor slowly silted up creating marshy lowlands where mosquitoes thrived and, in turn, caused health problems. Today, this is a field of waving reeds populated by loud croaking frogs (see also: Phaselis and its three harbors)


Thanks to recent studies, geologists now have determined that almost two meters of ancient Phaselis have sunken under sea level over the past 2,000 years. This is best seen is at the entrance of the Northern Harbor where two islets near the entrance are all that remains of the pier that once connected the lighthouse at its far end to the mainland.

Turkey southern coastline is slowly submerging with averages between three and nine centimeters each year. Once you know what to look for, you can easily find many examples of sunken houses and sarcophagi all along the Mediterranean from Caunos to Patara, to Simena and Side, including Phaselis.

The movement of the tectonic plates generates earthquakes which have hit the areas of Lycia and Pamphylia since antiquity. Especially catastrophic was the earthquake of 141 AD (well-documented because Opramoas of Rhodiapolis donated large sums for the reconstruction of more than 30 Lycian cities between Telmessus in the west and Phaselis in the east) and the one that occurred on the 5th of August 240 AD when the same cities were destroyed once again.

This means that Phaselis is only one such example, but the phenomenon is worth noticing when walking among the beautiful remains of these once so proud and prosperous cities!

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