A Striking Example of Early Byzantine Painting: Caunus Domed Basilica


ART-SANAT, pp.485-504, 2023 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.26650/artsanat.2023.20.1116670
  • Journal Name: ART-SANAT
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.485-504
  • Keywords: Byzantine Painting, Caunus Domed Basilica, Cross, Duck, Lily, Mugla, Mural Paintings
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


The Domed Basilica, dated to the 6th century, is one of the critical buildings of Caunus belonging to the Early Christian period. There are two chapels on the East of the Basilica, adjacent the main walls of the building. These buildings are called the North Chapel and the South Chapel. It is known that the walls of the Chapels and the Domed Basilica are decorated. Although the wall level has been largely preserved, traces of the mural painting in the Domed Basilica are also quite limited. In situ, examples found on all four walls of the structure show that all the walls are covered with Wall painting. In the South Chapel, the only painted surface is the apse semicircle. We know the most about the decoration in the North Chapel. Since a very limited part of the main walls of the North Chapel has been preserved, in situ surfaces offer very few ideas for decoration. However, during the excavations carried out in 2007, a large number of painted blocks were found in the middle of the structure. These findings reveal the painting repertoire of the North Chapel. Based on in situ, only the depiction of the pedestal of a column has been found, on which animal, plant and religious symbolic depictions were included in the painted blocks recovered from the excavations. In this study, the murals of the Domed Basilica of Kaunos, the North Chapel and the South Chapel are examined iconographically and the Northern Chapel wall paintings are suggested to be dated to the Early Byzantine period.