Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith

Lydia, Archaeology of

  • Elizabeth Baughan
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_1459


Ancient Lydia is located in western Anatolia (modern Turkey, Fig. 1) and has long been famed for its wealth and legendary landscapes: the proverbially rich King Croesus; the gold-bearing Pactolus stream, where King Midas of Phrygia was said to have washed off his golden touch; the wise Mt. Tmolus, who judged the musical contest between Pan and Apollo; and the Gygean Lake, with its “everflowing” waters and neighboring burial mounds, among other noted features. The heyday of Lydian culture was the Archaic period (seventh–sixth centuries BCE), the rule of the Mermnad kings and their expansion of Lydian domination through most of western Asia Minor. But even after the Lydian empire fell to the Persians c. 545 BCE, Lydia remained a distinct cultural region within the Persian empire and, later, in the Hellenistic period and in the Roman empire. The Lydian capital, Sardis, retained prominence as the seat of a Persian satrap, the site of an important Hellenistic Temple of Artemis...
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Further Reading

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Classical StudiesUniversity of RichmondRichmondUSA