A Garrison Quarter in Hellenistic Lycia: Evidence of the Diadochoi and Epigonoi in the Tepecik Settlement at Patara (20 min)


Erkan D?ndar, Akdeniz University


As an ancient satrapy, ancient Lycia changed hands repeatedly during the Persian, late Classical, and early Hellenistic eras. While ongoing research in Lycia focuses mostly on the magnificent buildings and artifacts of the elite inhabitants of earlier and later periods, evidence of daily life for the fourth/third centuries B.C.E. is relatively limited. During the excavations carried out by Akdeniz University at the Tepecik Settlement in Patara, the excavators uncovered a rich inventory of finds from the destruction layers of a residential area that date precisely to the turn of the fourth/third centuries B.C.E.

The fact that the settlement layer on Tepecik in Patara was destroyed by widespread fire at the end of the fourth century B.C.E. enables us to investigate the remains of domestic quarters as they existed at a time when the settlement was occupied by garrisons of the Macedonian Diadochoi. These include three rooms, two semiopen kitchen areas, and two storerooms; all provided in situ contexts. Analyses of the revealed contexts indicate that the buildings’ destruction occurred between 310–305/304 B.C.E. when Demetrius Poliorcetes controlled the city.

Following the era of Demetrius, the Macedonian settlement at Tepecik exhibited Ptolemaic remains, including a hoard of 19 gold trichrysons struck during the reign of Ptolemy II Philadelphos and sealrings with portraits of some members of the Ptolemaic royal family. These finds indicate that the harbor settlement remained a crucial lynchpin to Ptolemaic naval hegemony during the third century B.C.E.

The evidence suggests that Tepecik was inhabited as a military quarter during the fourth and third centuries B.C.E. In addition to the traces of the Diadochoi and Epigonoi at Patara, our unique material assemblages provide new information about the administrative systems and daily life of the city at a time when it was dominated by dynasties from across the eastern Mediterranean.