ARAXA

 

Araxa is located in Ören village, close to the mountains in the upper north end of Xanthos Valley. Ancient city was found with the help of several inscriptions mentioning its name. There was no decent information about the city other than the ancient geographers lists until a long decree of the people of Araxa recording the public services of a distinguished citizen by name Orthagoras, was found in Ören Village. We learn from the inscription that; in the second century B.C., Araxa was involved in wars first with Bubon then with Cibyra. Cibyra warriors ravaged Araxan territory, and caused some of its citizens to displace. Orthagoras was sent to Lycian League as a messenger to lodge a complaint about the situation.

During tyranny attempts in Tlos and Xanthos, Orthagoras served as an elite army unit in the Lycian League until usurpers were suppressed. He also served for the League in the Termessus War. He was sent as an envoy to the individual cities in Lycia and to the federal government of the Lycians to bring about the freedom of Orloanda, a neighboring city and its admission into the alliance of the Lycians. Later he functioned as ambassador to meet certain envoys from Rome. He carried out many missions at his own expense as part of his public duty without asking for reimbursement of his expenses. In all these missions he conducted himself in a manner worthy of the people and the nation and secured everything that was advantageous to his city.

There is not many remains from Araxa today. The ruin of a large structure exists in the village. One of the walls of this structure makes an obtuse angle and stood at a height of  3m. Regular laid, tight fitted block work, polygonal style of construction is seen. On the acropolis hill, which is quite low, a little below the summit on the side towards the village, are the remains of a solid wall with a tower projecting 5.5m. The blocks are huge, measuring up to 1,5 x 1,7 m, laid in nearly regular courses.
There are plenty of gothic style sarcophagus lids which have illegible inscriptions on them spread around the riverside, but the most interesting tombs are in a group of a dozen, cut in the rock at the base of a low hillock about 1.5 km away from the village to the west. They are of various types.



 
 
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