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Caria  

Ancient country in south-west Asia Minor (now Turkey), south of the Maeander (Menderes) River and west of modern Fethiye (excepting the coastal cities of Ionia). The Carians claimed to be an indigenous people of mainland Asia Minor, though in Greek tradition they were originally islanders. Until the 4th century bc they lived mainly in mountain villages organized into local federations and grouped around sanctuaries such as that of Carian Zeus at Mylasa (Milas). The Carian language is imperfectly understood, owing to a paucity of surviving inscriptions. The script is alphabetic, and some forms are the same as Greek letters, but surviving fragments are virtually unintelligible, and it is not even certain that the language is Indo-European.

Minoan, Mycenaean and Greek colonization of the region touched only the coasts, leaving the interior Carian until the arrival of the Romans. At Muskebi, near Halikarnassos (Bodrum), there is evidence of Mycenaean settlement, possibly refugees from the upheavals of the Greek mainland at the end of the Bronze Age; Minoan imports found at ...