Dalyan Rock Tombs
The spectacular rock-cut tombs which meet the eyes of the visitors coming to Caunus by way of either sea or land are undoubtedly the most significant examples of funerary architecture in Caunus. The group of six rock-cut tombs, including the largest, unfinished one have been borne dumb witnesses to the events throughout the past thousands of years. In addition to this type of temple rock-cut tomb, there are deep rectangular rock-cut tombs known as "pigeon nests", niches and sarcophagi which, together with the chamber tombs at special locations, show the variety of the types of funerary architecture at Caunus. These tombs provide us with valuable information on the burial customs of the city.
Of the rock-cut tombs, none of which can be dated to before the 2nd quarter of the 4th century BC, the most important group are those with the facade of a temple. They consist of a stepped front chamber behind the facade. The facade has a pediment and columns between the projecting side walls and the burial chamber is accessed through a door. In front of the back and side walls of the roughly square in plan, burial chamber there are carved stone benches for the bodies of the deceased, in some of them there are also tables for offerings dedicated to the deceased. The niches, into which the upright funerary urns were placed, were closed with stone plaques that were carved with depictions of temple facades. The longer lateral sides of the chest-tombs, which were built next to each other, were formed by vertically placing the stone plaques of the same height. The narrower sides, one of which faces the bedrock, were mostly made from a single block. The tombs were covered with large stone slabs which were coated by a thick plaster mixed with gravel of various sizes.
This type of tomb is generally dated to the period from the 2nd century BC to the 2nd century AD. Only two of the chamber tombs, which were built apart from the other tombs, upon higher hills, are preserved. One of these tombs is situated on the hill behind the entrance to the site, the other is in the Mezargediði area, 4 kms. to the West of the site of Caunus.