Start your exploration across from the parking area at the Roman-style theater : Inscriptions indicate that its restoration was funded by a wealthy Lycian named Opromoas of Rhodiapolis after the great earthquake of 141 AD. Alongside the theater are two much-photographed pillar tombs. The more famous of the pair is called the Harpy Tomb—not after what's inside, but because of the half-bird, half-woman figures carved onto the north and south sides. Other reliefs show a seated figure receiving various gifts, including a bird, a pomegranate, and a helmet. This tomb has been dated to 470 BC; the reliefs are plaster casts of originals in the British Museum. The other tomb consists of a sarcophagus atop a pillar—a rather unusual arrangement. The pillar section is probably as old as the Harpy Tomb, the sarcophagus added later. On the side of the theater, opposite the Harpy Tomb and past the agora, is the Inscribed Pillar of Xanthos. Dating from about 400 BC, it is etched with 250 lines (written in both Greek and Lycian) that recount the heroic deeds of a champion wrestler and celebrated soldier named Kerei. Check out the large Byzantine basilica with its abstract mosaics before following the path up-hill, where you'll find several sarcophagi, a good collection of rock-cut house tombs, and a welcome spot of shade. Xanthos's center was up on the acropolis behind the theater, accessible by a trail.
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