published on 31 May 2012
Iotape, also known as Aytap, is a port city about 30km east of Alanya in Cilicia in Anatolia. The first archaeological evidence for human settlement at the site comes from the first century AD though there is a some concensus that it was earlier inhabited by tribes. It was originally founded by Antiochis IV in 52 AD after he took control of Cilicia. Antiochis named the city for his wife Iotapa and it became Iotape (η Ιωτάπη).
The city is in an excellent place for settlement because of its natural harbour for trade and agriculture and its higher plateau where the settlement is protected from the sea and invasions from the coast. The natural harbour is made up of two bays measuring around 100m. Archaeological survey and excavation has uncovered ruins of an Acropolis with huge walls built around it to provide defense. Coins have been found indicating that Iotape included a mint which produced coins from the reign of Trajan to Valerian. There are also remains of Roman sewers, a necropolis and monumental tombs and sculptures, Roman baths, inscriptions and a rectangular Basilica to the East of the Acropolis. Temple ruins have also been excavated with surviving frescos within the city centre of the modern city.
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