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Mylasa, which was the former capital of Caria, houses monuments bearing witness to great past of the town. From the ending of the name "asa", we understand this was an Anatolian name and it is suggested it was one of the early cities established in the region. Strabo mentioned Mylasa one of the three noteworthy cities in the region. It is not certain how the city got its name.
One of the earlier accounts about Mylasa was during the Persian rule when a tyrant, appointed by the Persian Satrap, Oliates, ruled the city. However, the Golden Age of Mylasa came during the early 4th century during the rule of famous Persian Satraps such as Hysaldomus, Hekatomnos and Maosolos. At the beginning, it seems that the former city of Mylasa was situated at Percin Kale, great rock situated 3 miles distance from Mylasa. During 4th century BC and then it moved to its present site, which was an unusual location for a Carrian, city, usually built on the rocky hills. This great rocky hill supplied good quality of marble for the city of Mylasa and to nearby cities. The importance of Mylasa continued even after the move of the capital to Halicarnasus. It was the most important inland city of Caria throughout the Hellenistic and Roman Periods.
She went on as a chief center for the Carian district. Under the Ptolemy II, the city was under the rule of Egyptian Kings. After a short rule, the city passed into the hands of Antiochus of Syria who captured the city without any difficulty. The region fell into hands of Macedonian Kings. Mylasa gained importance and power by establishing reciprocal citizenship with major cities in the region. The men of Euromos, Miletos, Labyranda, Olimus, they were all considered as the part of famous tree tribes of Mylasa. When Roman armies defeated Antiochus, the king of Syria, Roman authorities gave Caria region to Rhodians. Not pleased with the Rhodian rule, Carians organized a rebellion against Rhodians. This confusion ended when Romans decided that Rhodians should put an end with the fight and retreat as quickly as possible.
The city was badly damaged in 40 BC by the Parthian and Roman troops under the command of Labianus, a former general of Brutus and Cassius. After this disaster, Mylian asked for the help of Emperor Augustus. From the inscriptions, we understand that emperor helped for the reconstruction of the city and people Mylasa built a temple for Augustus and Goddess Rome. During the Byzantine Period, mlasa became the Episcopal see and it was under the directions of the bishop of Stavrapolis. It was conquered by Menteseoglu tribe in the 14th century and joined Ottoman territory in 1425.
There is little left of ancient Mylasa in the city of Milas. Strabo mentions that people of Mylasa had three temples dedicated Zeus, the most popular divinity, worshipped by all the independent tribes who got united during under his name during the times of real danger the Greek and Persian invasions. Although Carian Zeus with many names was worshiped in many temples in Caria, none of his temples survived in good shape. On the other hand, archaeologist discovered many coins depicting Zeus, holding a spear and double headed axe in his hands.
A native God who is later named as all the Carians worshiped Zeus there.
There is little left from this first century temple in Corinthian Order. It was built on high podium. The carvings of the Corinthian columns and masonry of the wall surrounding the temple help to archaeologist to date the temple first century BC.
Baltali kapi The gate with the Axe
This beautiful Roman Gate took its name from a double axe, carved at the top of the main arch. This gate led to sacred way, which extended from Mylasa to Labranda, the famous Carian Shrine.
This impressive gate with the double axe of Carian Zeus was part of the city walls, dated to second century BC.
This small Roman copy of ancient mausoleum is one of the great monuments of Mylasa. Dated to 2nd century AD, Gumuskesen monument is consist of high podium, columned area, stepped crepidoma and possibly a statue at the top.
The temple of Augustus and Roma
The temple, which had been built for Emperor Augustus for the renovation work he accomplished after the destruction of the city by Libanius in 40 BC, is now totally vanished from the stage of history.
Milas Museum has been formed for the first time in 1983 with
the approval of the Ministry of Culture with the artifacts
transferred from Bodrum Museum and the finds obtained from
the digs in the Milas Region. and has been opened
to public in 1987.At the entrance floor of the museum, the exhibition hall and offices are located.In the basement, there are depots, photography room and laboratory.
The garden is used as the open exhibition area of the museum. The finds from the archaic
settlements in Milas and its surroundings are exhibited in the garden.
The golden artifacts found in Stratonikeia digs, baked oil lamps from İasos digs, the artifacts from the rescue digs in and around Milas, marble
sculptures, and other artifacts purchased from the people are exhibited in a chronologicalorder in the eleven showcases in the museum exhibition hall.