Back and forth in time

The main reason we wanted to poke around Mount Latmos (Beşparmak Dağı) was to look at some of the prehistoric cave paintings.  Some are thought to be up to 6000 years old.  Our guide knew of one of these, there are many more.  We guess we will need to find someone more knowledgeable if we are ever going to find a few more.  This probably means an archaeologist rather than a local villager, we may ask a friend and see what can be arranged.

It is hard to make out what the painting we saw was really about.  It seemed to depict animals and figures.  Maybe this is a social or religious scene.  Maybe it had a religious or practical purpose.  With work this old it is really hard to tell and at best conjecture.


Getting to the cave we were shown involved some scrambling over large rocks.  It is not hard, but it is very steep in places and a little climbing experience helps.  On the positive side the rock is granite so not slippery and not likely to give way.  The whole mountainside is covered in huge pinkish granite boulders, often piled up on top of each other, and sometimes water can be heard flowing below them.

To get up to the Monastery and then to this cave and back again takes about 3 to 4 hours.  There is not a great deal of shade and the climb is thirsty work so taking a good supply of water is very worthwhile and is using sun block.  We chilled out afterwards at Kapıkırı, cold drinks and then very good grilled fish and salad right by the lake.



4 responses to “Back and forth in time

  1. . . there is a very real threat to cave paintings in the area around the Aydin/Izmir border due to quarrying for minerals (magnesium silicate) used in china pottery production. I used to have some info on this but can’t put my finger on it. You’ll probably be able to search stuff out with your fast internet connection or local contacts.

    • Finding stuff about similar paintings recently found in Çine… But those reports mention efforts to preserve them. Not finding anything closer to home (we are, after all, less than 7Km from the Aydin/Izmir border)

  2. I’d love to tag along if you go in the Autumn. I have never found these caves.

    • We will try to set something up and be sure to let you know. Our guide was charming and knew the way but he was not especially knowledgeable. I think there are guides based in Milas who know more. But we’re going to tap a few people up for further info…

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