Olba, later Diocaesarea, is an ancient Seleucid city in Rough Cilicia on Turkey’s rugged Eastern Mediterranean coastline. In the Hellenistic period, the city was the centre of worship of Zeus Olbios, whose sanctuary was located about 4 km to the west. Erected during the reign of the Seleucids, the temple, Corinthian in style, is the oldest peripteral temple (6×12 columns) in Asia Minor. Other monuments from the Hellenistic period include a 22m-high tower and a mausoleum. The Roman city of Diocaesarea later developed in the 1st century AD around the temple devoted to Zeus Olbios. Its ruins today lie partly within the grounds of the village of Uzuncaburç (Turkish for high tower and referring to the Hellenistic tower) and its immediate surroundings.

The most important Roman buildings on the site date from the 1st to the 3rd century AD and include a theatre, a nymphaeum, an aqueduct, and many tombs dug in the rock. The city is entered through a monumental gate, of which five columns have survived. Then a colonnaded street runs alongside the temple of Zeus Olbios and leads to the temple of Tyche. To the northwest, a three-arched Roman gate leads out of town.

Coordinates: 36°35’12.1″N 33°58’06.7″E


  • Diocaesarea
The monumental entrance gate to the city of Diocaesarea was erected at the end of the 1st century AD. It originally had five entrances.
The Temple of Zeus Olbios was erected during the reign of the Seleucids. The monument is peripteral and Corinthian in style.
The Hellenistic Temple of Zeus Olbios.
The Temple of Zeus Olbios was converted into a basilica during the Byzantine era. The cella was removed, and an apse was added at the eastern end.
When the temple was converted into a church, the columns were shaved at the sides and walls were built between them.
An architectural block with a boar and a lion decorated the Temple of Zeus Olbios.
Architectural block from the Temple of Zeus Olbios.
The two-storied Hellenistic mausoleum with a pyramidal roof.

View of Diocaesarea from the Hellenistic mausoleum. The temple of Zeus Olbios is on the left, in the middle is the Roman theatre and on the right stands the 22m-high Hellenistic tower.
A limestone sarcophagus beautifully decorated with vine tendrils and flowers suspended from two ox heads in the middle and two-horned ram heads on each side; over the garlands are three sculpted heads of Medusa.
The Corinthian colonnade of the Temple of Tyche was built in the 1st century AD by Oppius and his wife, Kyria.
The cella (inner cult room) of the Temple of Tyche.
The inscription on the architrave states: “Oppius, the son of Obrimus, and Kyria, the daughter of Leonidus and the wife of Oppius, gave the Tychaeum to the city.”
A sarcophagus lid.
The Roman Nymphaeum was built in the 2nd or 3rd century AD. The structure, 17m long and about 11m wide stood along the colonnaded street. The water was brought from the Lamus River by using channels and tunnels.
The northern city gate was built in the 2nd century AD and completely restored during the reigns of Arcadius and Honorius (5th century AD).
An abandoned house built among the ruins of the ancient city.
The Roman theatre was constructed during the joint reign of the emperors Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus.
The theatre had a capacity of around 2000 spectators.
  • Olba
The acropolis hill of Olba with fortification towers.
The double-tier aqueduct of Olba, commissioned by Septimius Severus in AD 199, was built across the valley of Olba and linked the two hillsides. It is about 150 m long and 25 m high.
The aqueduct underwent repairs during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justin II in AD 566.
The nymphaeum standing at the western foot of the Acropolis. It was fed by the Lamus River, whose water was brought through tunnels, channels and the aqueduct.
The Roman theatre.
The stage building of the Roman theatre.

Source: Silifke (Seleucia on Calycadnus ) and Environs: Lost Cities of a Distant Past in Cilicia by Celal Taşkıran (Sim Matbaasi, 1993)



Lixus is an ancient Roman-Berber-Punic city on the western coast of Morocco, just north of Larache. It lies on a hill with spectacular views over the Loukkos Estuary (Lucus River) and is one of the first western Mediterranean cities. Lixus was first settled by the Phoenicians during the 8th century BC and gradually grew in importance as a trading post (in gold, ivory and slaves), later coming under Carthaginian domination.

After the destruction of Carthage, the city fell to Roman control and reached its zenith during the reign of the emperor Claudius (AD 41–54) and began exporting the fish-based garum sauce. The salt-fishing factory consisted of closely-spaced complexes with a salting capacity of over one million litres, making it the largest garum producer in the western Mediterranean. In the 3rd century AD, Lixus became nearly fully Christian. The site was abandoned in the 7th century AD and later became known to Muslims as Tuchummus when a mosque was erected.

Floors decorated in mosaics, an amphitheatre, garum-making facilities, baths, and a Paleochristian church are reminders of the splendour and prosperity of Lixus. The excavated zones (62 hectares) constitute approximately 20% of the total surface of the site.

Coordinates: 35°12’00.0″N 6°06’40.0″W


Complex 1 of the fish-salting factory, with 23 extant vats (cetariae) that functioned from AD 40/60 to early 6th.
Extant are at least 142 square and rectangular vats with a combined capacity of 1,013 cubic metres. They are located at the foot of the southern slope of the hill below the Acropolis.
Fishing vats varied in size and depth and were built of bricks and/or rubble construction, which were faced with a sealing mortar mixture of lime, forming opus signinum.
Complex 10 of the fish-salting factory, with four extant vats (cetariae) and two arched cistern chambers.
Two arched cistern chambers.
The fish factory also had two buried cisterns.
Roman bath complex.
Roman bath complex.
Small amphitheatre with a semi-circular cavea (seating section), designed to house theatrical plays and gladiatorial combats.
A theatre was built in the 1st century AD and later converted into an arena. Its stage building was then dismantled.
The cavea leans against a natural slope. Up to 7 rows of seats have been preserved.
A row of seats with letters to identify the seats.
The amphitheatre with the bath complex built against it.

The upper town.
Roman houses.
The Palace of Juba II.
The Palace of Juba II and temples.
An apotropaic phallus as a symbol to avert the evil eye.
The ruins of a Paleochristian church.
Roman houses.
The ruins of a mosque.
Venus and Adonis. This mosaic decorated the floor of a villa that once housed the wealthiest citizens of Lixus.