Exploring the Harbors of Old Knidos

Burgaz and “Old Knidos”

By August 3, 2013July 2nd, 2015No Comments

Located just east of the modern town of Datça, about halfway between Knidos and Marmaris on the south coast of the Datça peninsula, the site of Burgaz was originally identified by George Bean and John Cook as the settlement of the Knidians before their move to Tekir at the tip of the peninsula. While the interpretation is not without controversy, most current accounts of the region accept the notion of two sites, and the interpretation of Burgaz as Old Knidos seems well supported in readings of the historical evidence. For example, Thucydides’ (8.35) description of the conflict between the Athenians and Peloponnesians centers on two sites: (1) Triopium, a sacred site of Apollo in the path of merchant ships arriving from Egypt, and (2) the original unfortified town of Knidos.  The historian writes (Greek text):

[1] They put in at Knidos, which under the influence of Tissaphernes had already revolted from Athens. [2] The Peloponnesian authorities at Miletus, when they heard of their arrival, ordered one half of these ships to protect Knidos, and the other half to cruise off Triopion and seize the merchant vessels which put in there from Egypt. This Triopion is a promontory in the district of Knidos on which there is a temple of Apollo. [3] The Athenians, hearing of their intentions, sailed from Samos and captured the six ships which were keeping guard at Triopion; the crews escaped. They then sailed to Knidos, and attacking the town, which was unwalled, all but took it.