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Alinda: the powerful carian stronghold.

October 6, 2018

The current Turkish town of Karpuzlu is the heiress of an ancient Carian city called Alinda. Its ruins are located on the top of the hill that rises to the west of the town. In fact, modern houses reach almost to the first ancient structures. Although Alinda has never been excavated except for its necropolis, the truth is that the archaeological site are fairly well preserved, deserving the qualification of monumental in some points.

 

Photo 1.- Exterior façade of the magnificent Alinda market. 2nd Century BC.

 

We commented in the previous paragraph that Alinda has never been excavated. If we add to that the short number of localized epigraphs, almost total absence of sculpted elements such as fragments of capitals, friezes or statues and a poor mention in the ancient chronicles, we have the perfect conditions for the history of the place to remain submerged in a certain darkness. We ignore, in fact, everything related to the origin of the city although an identification has been proposed between the Hittite city of Iyalanda (14th century BC), epigraphically known, and our Alinda based on the phonetic similarity between both names.

 

Photos 2 and 3.- Interior room of two of the market stores, where the exhibitor and the shop desk were located.

 

For a few years, not many, of the fifth century BC Alinda was a member of the Delos league: headed by Athens and with defensive purpose against the expansionist yearnings of the Persian Achaemenid empire. This indicates that at that time the city had a certain economic importance since otherwise it would not have been able to satisfy the tribute demanded to all the league members.