Since I’ve been on a Roman ruin roll recently, I’ll share some photos of what must be the closest ruined Roman city to Antalya. Lyrboton Kome is right on the northern edge of the city, just north of Varsak. Anything closer to Antalya has, well, been swallowed up by the city. The terminus of Antalya’s newest light rail line is only about 1km from Lyrboton Kome.
Kepez Belediyesi, the local municipal government, is making Lyrboton Kome into an “archaeology park”. I don’t really know what that’s supposed to mean, but it ought to at least be enough protection to keep Antalya’s urbanization at bay.
In May 2017 I happened upon Lyrboton Kome as I was bicycling around. Like I’ve done many times in Turkey, I simply followed the brown (tourist) signs to the site. These brown signs can lead to some real gems, often places I’ve never heard of. At that time workers were excavating the site, and although I was permitted to walk around, they had a strictly enforced no photograph policy. I wonder why archaeological excavation workers sometimes don’t allow photos. Are they stealing stuff? Doing a crappy restoration job? Maybe there’s another reason, but it seems suspicious to me.
I cycled back to Lyrboton Kome a couple months ago, and this time I was the only one at the site. From what I could tell it seems that the excavation work involved clearing some vegetation, digging along some of the walls, and covering many of the cisterns (but not all of them!) with grates. With fresh red dirt still on the rocks, it’s pretty easy to tell where the new excavations were.
According to the (new) signs on site, Lyrboton Kome’s raison d’être was to supply olive oil to the nearby bigger, richer, and more powerful port city of Perge. Some of what remains at Lyrboton Kome is olive oil production equipment.
You can visit what remains of the city of Perge near the Antalya airport, see the many amazing statues from Perge at the Antalya Museum, and now you can go to Lyrboton Kome and see where Perge’s olive oil was from! How exciting is that.
It’s a fun site to walk around for an hour or two, maybe bring a picnic. For now the access is great. The road is closed a couple hundred meters below the site, keeping cars away (which also keeps noise, trash, and people away). However, that road’s been recently widened and improved so I doubt it will be car-free for long. Get there soon. 🙂