Karasis; lower castle
Karasis; from the apex of the “lower castle” (photo © Daniel C Browning Jr).

This is Karasis. It is a kale, or “castle,” high above a lake just north of Kozan. The site was unknown to archaeologists and historians until relatively recently—a factor of its invisibility from the lake side and unbelievably difficult access. This pic shows the “lower castle” from its apex (not nearly the top of the site), with the wall and large towers at center.

The fortress was apparently put in its final form under the Seleucid Empire (one of the Hellenistic kingdoms resulting from Alexander the Great’s conquests and breakup of his realm). Evidence for this is found in pottery sherds from the 2nd century BC and the striking elephant carved in relief over the inner entrance of the best-preserved tower.

Inside face of the more southerly large tower (right center in the main photo) with an elephant in relief over the main doorway (photo © Daniel C Browning Jr).

It is possible the the site’s origins are slightly earlier, as a “treasure city” of Alexander the Great, but that will be left to a separate You Don’t Get This on the Bus Tour post.

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Closeup of the elephant relief (photo © Daniel C Browning Jr).

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