The form of the name Sidyma (like Idyma, Didyma and Loryma) is enough show that the city dated back to an old period. On the other hand, there is evidence of early classical period settlement; but the first literary reference is not before the 1st century B.C., and most of the remains and all inscriptions are of the Roman Imperial Age. The city was listed by the geographers until Byzantine times, but there is only a single record in its history. Emperor Marcus (450-457 AD) was a regular soldier during Persian war, then he got sick in Lycia campaign and was left in Sidyma. He got help from two brothers and was taken care of in their house. One day when he healed, they went hunting together. The hunters got tired and overwhelmed so they fell asleep in the middle of day. One of the brothers waked up earlier than the others, started watching with admiration the giant eagle shadowing Marcus who was in a sleep with its wings widespread. When all of them woke up, the brothers asked Marcus “If he became the emperor, what he would do to them as a favor”. Marcus answered as; “If such an impossible incident happened, he would make them the most prominent people of their town”. And this talk became real; Marcus became the emperor after Theodosius II died, and kept his promise. He did more than his words, and two brothers became a part of the superior authority.  

When it is reached to the ancient city, the most eye-catching structures are the tombs in shape of pigeonholes situated on the left hillside. These tombs resemble the ones in Pınara although being lesser in amount and more ordinary compared to them. Their exact dates are unknown.  
There are numerous sarcophagi in the city. Their lids are shaped as hip roofs instead of usual Lycian gothic form.
The city itself is at the ground level and extends approximately 1.5 km along the northeastern and southwestern directions. Dodurga village’s (Asar district) location has changed since the last century and today it is situated right in the center of ancient city remains.


This caused damage in the ancient city center ruins and it is not possible to break down all the previously completed recent structures. Acropolis hill is located in north in two parts. Along the southeastern slope, there extends an early period wall of 365 meters long and 3 meters high in some places.  It is made of cut stone masonry in general but at the east end is of polygonal stones. At one spot, there is a small door with a courtyard in the front, and a watchtower. This wall is the second evidence of Sidyma’s early period. Other interesting feature is there is no trace of ancient city’s early period left on the hill. Although some wall parts, cisterns and potteries have been found, these all belong to Byzantine period.  However, slightly above this wall, six rows of seat of a badly preserved small theatre or a similar structure can be partially seen. There is no doubt that this belongs to a later period of the ancient city.


The ancient city center which is also recent village center is situated at the west end of the city. Previously fair amount of a temple and a stoa ruins found enough to plan and draw the reconstruction on paper. Rear wall of the stoa is still visible, but not much information can be obtained about the temple. Temple building is 9 meters long, is quite small and there are four columns and steps in its western front, has been dedicated to savior God Emperor.


The section of Stoa inscription which was dedicated to Emperor Claudius, Artemis and other gods were recovered. Between here and east end of the city, there are various types of monuments mostly consists of tombs. The most impressive one is inside. This tomb was built in the temple-type, raised on two steps higher than the ground. Even though it is not seen today, it is understood that two columns were located in antis originally. Large stone block of the roof is still in its place. The lower part is decorated with relief of human heads and rosettes.

A row of sarcophagi is located near these tombs, in which two of them are especially remarkable. They are exactly the same in forms and dimensions and stands on the usual basement. Like others in Sidyma, these two have hip roofed lids and there are acroteriums at their bottom corners. As predicted from the damaged inscriptions, it is understood that these two tombs were belonged to the same family members; a father and his son, both named as Aristodemos. One of the inscriptions states that the owner of that tomb is the palace physicist honored by the emperors. Other inscription is written in verse and forms an acrostic in which the first letters spells out the word “Aristedomos”.
In a short distance to south west side, there stands a building of 9 meters high. It sits on a lower substructure which originally forms the base of a large tomb. But the building in fact belongs to much later date and contains many stone blocks used for the second time; some of the stone blocks have inscriptions on them. There are windows at the upper part of the walls. The door on the north is decorated with lion heads in each threshold and with rosettes on top of each door frame. At the rear wall of the substructure, there is a low door opening to the basement where the original grave is.
The mosque in the village was built with the ancient stones of Sidyma. On the rear wall of the mosque, there is a stone with an inscription giving the list of names of the twelve gods, with a heading of “Here is the list of the Gods”. All the names are familiar, Zeus, Apollo, Artemis, Athena, Aphrodite and others, but it is so surprising that Hecate and Serapis were not mentioned in here although their names were always referred in other inscriptions. Twelve Gods of Lycia are known. It is impossible to say there are temples dedicated to each in Sidyma, in fact only temple identified was dedicated to the emperors of the ancient city.

This project is co-financed by the European Union and the Republic of Turkey