Illuminating the Land of Light - the Lycia Project

The archaeological project on the site of Çaltılar in the Fethiye district of Muğla province, SW Turkey, has been investigating the fascinating history and archaeology of this area from the 3rd to the early 1st millennium BC.


Since 2008, over 35,000 pieces of pottery, flint, obsidian and other materials have been collected at the site and a full topographic survey of the site has been conducted. This is the first inter-disciplinary intensive survey of a pre-Classical Settlement and landscape in a region that is well known for its Classical remains.

A research team, led by , used methods including magnetometer, electrical resistance tomography and GIS (geographic information systems) technology  to identify the pottery and generate a model of the site that projected 3D images of the surface data over the topography to identify changes in settlement over time.

Pottery studies, petrographic and obsidian analysis also allowed the team to put findings into context within the wider Mediterranean world.


The insights provided by this research have established that Çaltılar was a pre-Classical site of major importance in the history of Lycia and can be connected to the Bronze Age Lukka people, whose name is known from the Hittite archives, Amarna letters and from Homer.

Illuminating the Land of Light has illustrated both the distinctive local history of the area and also the long term wider inter-connections of this region to its modern inhabitants and has stressed the importance of heritage as a resource.

The programme has now reached almost 17,000 school children who have been provided education and training on heritage protection and conservation techniques

- The Director of Fethiye Museum


The project team worked with Turkish local government partners to establish a European Union/Turkey funded Inter-Cultural Dialogue project that incorporated this site and others into a comprehensive heritage education service for an extensive rural region of SW Turkey.

This project has raised awareness of the region’s early history and the need to protect it from looting by means of:

  • Education programmes
  • Websites
  • Seminars
  • Exhibitions in Turkey and the UK
  • Engagement with beneficiaries including:
    • Government bodies
    • The Fethiye museum
    • Local communities and schools
    • The public (both in the UK and internationally) through the involvement of the region’s large tourist industry.

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