Fethiye was built on the ruins of Telmessos, an important and ancient city of the antique period. Traces of its past can still be seen all over the town. In particular the tombs at the necropolis, located on the southern slopes, have somehow managed to withstand earthquakes and other natural agents over centuries. They are a magnificent sight in every sense of the word.
Lucians are celebrated as a matriarchal community, where the cult of mother goddess was dominant. They built their graves in the centre of the town and on the slopes of the hills near the acropolis. The same is true for Fethiye. The architecture of the tombs reflects daily life. The houses like tombs resemble the wooden homes they resided in. The pack-saddled sarcophagi indicate that the Lucians were sea-faring people. When the lid of the sarcophagus is overturned and the stonework is replaced by wood, it looks remarkably like a boat. The wooden granaries built by the farmers in their courtyards in nearby villages of Fethiye may be considered as evidence of the traditional nature of this architectural concept.