Labraunda Açık Hava Kült Alanı



Labraunda, connected to the ancient city of Mylassa, was a sacred religious center for the Caria region. The remains are situated in the northeast side of the sacred area between and in front of two large rocks that rise approximately 10-15 m height. Among the ruins are several small niches cut into the rocks, one big niche, a door, stalls, a channel for libations. In addition, several sitting places might be mentioned.

The fact that the Labraunda was built into rocks and that the cult area was entered through rocks, links the site with Yazılıkaya, another religious site situated in a naturally rocky environments. The Labraunda cuit area, therefore, has many similarities with monuments chiseled into rock façades and those, in particular, built in forest for the Goddess Kybele.

Since the Bronze Age, it is an Anatolian tradition to built monuments and produce reliefs near the natural water sources. Labraunda followed this tradition; it was built on the high rocks near the region's main water source, similar to the sacred area of Eumeneia Kybele in Phrygia. In Labraunda, like the open-air temple of Karahisar, the monuments carved rocks were grouped together to form a religious center.

The Labraunda ruins are indicative of an old and native Anatolian tradition. An explanation for the Classic Period's use of the cult area - dedicated to the God Zeus- is the pre-existing veneration of the same space. Carians worshiped their Gods, like the Urartians and the Phrygians, through nature, through water source and natural stone. A door cut into lock, an altar with stairs, and indeed the entire sacred area was constructed to demonstrate the power of the God. The Labraunda cult area represents a synthesis between the Urartian Culture in the East, the Phrygian Culture in the Middle West, and the Ionian Culture along the Aegean. This synthesis is also represented in attributes of statues, such as the Goddess Artemis in Ephesus and on Zeus in Labraunda.

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