What follow is a brief introduction to the Lycians:
The Lycians were most likely in origin an Anatolian people since they spoke their own Indo-European language closely related to Luwian and Hittite.
From archaelogical excavations in the Karatas,-Semahoyuk area near Elmali, examples of earthenware pottery have been found reveal that the region was settled by the third millennium BC. Moreover, the fact that Lycian place names containing, "-nd", "-nt", "-ss" (Kalynda, Arykanda, Telmessos, Idebessos) occur in a number of Anatolian sites also dated to the fourth millennium B.C. verifes this early settlement date linguistically. An axe has also been found at Tlos, dated around 2000 BC.
We know that the Lycians had powerful sea and land forces by the second millennium BC and had already established an independent state. The earliest historical references to the Lycians date back to the Late Bronze Age (ca 1500-1200 BC) in numerous Egyptian, Hittite and Ugaritic texts. It is known from these that the Lycians (called ‘Lukka’ in these sources) were involved in acts of piracy against Cyprus around 1400 BC, that they fought against Egypt in the ranks of the Hittites during the battle of Kadesh in 1295 BC and that they participated with the Libyans. What is interesting is that in early records, the Lycians are referred to as 'Lukka', 'Lukki' or 'Ruw-ku', while the Lycians themselves never used these terms, instead calling themselves Trmmli (Termilae in Greek) and their country Trmmisa.
For a good introduction to the Lycians, their history and culture, visit Lycian Turkey - Discover the Beauty of Ancient Lycia.
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary
Tags: Archaeology, Lycia, Lycians