The Ancient Theatre Archive

The Theatre Architecture of Greece and Rome

Antiphellos (modern Kaş, Turkey)


Modern Kaş, Turkey

Theatre Type

Greek / Roman Theatre

Earliest Date

ca. 2nd cent. BCE

Renovations / Excavations

Enlarged by Romans: 250-300 CE; Restored: 2008.

GPS Coordinates

Seating Capacity



Cavea Width: 50 meters
Orchestra Width: 11 meters


Antiphellos (modern Kaş, Turkey). Cavea width: 50 m, 25 rows in 3 cunei with 4 staircases; ambulacrum at top of cavea; holes in 17th row of seats for vela masts; orchestra width: 10.65 m; no scene building or stage remain; capacity: ?4000; ca. 2nd cent. BCE; enlarged 2nd half 3rd cent. CE.

ANTIPHELLOS (Kas, formerly Andifli) Lycia, Turkey:

The earliest occurrence of the name is in a bilingual epitaph of the 4th c. B.C. found at Ka? and half a dozen other Lycian inscriptions, all on tombs, prove the antiquity of the site. The rise of Antiphellos to importance began in the Hellenistic age, and by the Roman period, it was by far the most important city of the region. The coinage includes Hellenistic issues of federal and nonfederal types, and of Gordian III. The city was the seat of a bishopric in Byzantine times.

Antiphellos lies at the base of a narrow promontory running E-W, which forms on the N side a long sheltered bay known as Bucak Limani (formerly Vathy); above this, the main coast rises almost vertically to a height of some 450 m. Bucak Limani is, however, only usable with difficulty by sailing vessels, and the harbor of Antiphellos, like that of Ka?, lay on the other, seaward side of the isthmus. It is protected by a reef which may also be partly artificial, but is suitable only for small boats. A stretch of ancient sea wall runs along the S side of the promontory.

The principal ruins are on the rising ground of the promontory to the W of the modern town. On the S side, not far above the shore, are the foundations and lower parts of a small temple in elegant masonry. Farther to the W is the theater, small but well preserved, of Hellenistic date. The retaining wall is of regular bossed ashlain and encloses 26 rows of seats divided by four stairways into three cunei. There seems never to have been a permanent stage building. On the E slope of the hill is an unusual square tomb, cut out of the rock, damaged in its upper paint; the grave inside is decorated with a frieze of 25 dancing figures.

Tombs are numerous, especially on the slopes of the hills to the W and N of the town, and at the head of Bucak Limanl. In the town itself, on the E side, is a particularly fine Lycian sarcophagus on a high base, with a long inscription (possibly poetic) in the peculiar dialect of Lycian which occurs also on the well-known pillar tomb at Xanthos. On the hillside to the N is a rock tomb with a Lycian inscription to which has been added later another in Latin. Many sarcophagi of later type are scattered over the site, and many more have been destroyed in modern times.

Across the water from Kas, in the SE corner of the bay, is the little harbor of Bayindir Limani, and on the hill directly above is a small city site of which the ancient name was apparently Sebeda. It has a wall of neat polygonal masonry and a number of sarcophagi, one of which carries a Greek epitaph with a fine of 10,000 drachmai, payable to Phellos, for violation of the tomb. In the cliff face above the harbor are two or three rock-cut tombs, one having an inscription in Lycian. There is no water on the site and virtually no arable land.


Bibliography / Resources:

Stillwell, Richard. MacDonald, William L. McAlister, Marian Holland. The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites. 
Princeton, N.J. Princeton University Press. 1976. Site accessed 2/6/2018.

Sear, Frank. Roman Theatres: An Architectural Study. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. (p. 364)

Last Update: 10-02-2023