The Swedish archaeological expedition to Labraunda in Karla is the largest Swedish research project undertaken in Turkey. This volume is the result of a symposium held at the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities in November 2008, to celebrate sixty years of Swedish archaeological work at Labraunda. The twenty-three papers in this volume are divided, just as was the symposium, into two sections; the first part consists of papers on the Sanctuary of Labraunda itself and the second of papers treating the surrounding landscape of Karla.
Professor Axel W. Persson ofUppsala University had hoped to find the origins of, as well as the connection between, the Minoan and Karian cultures in the excavation of Labraunda. Although this lofty goal has yet to be achieved, the Swedish excavations have made significant contributions to the political, religious and architectural history of the area: the best preserved Hekatomnid architectural complex in Karla has been discovered. The central cult area of Labraunda can now be experienced as a Hekatomnid sanctuary by the modern visitor. Through the 134 inscriptions, we have a wealth of information about the running of an ancient sanctuary, the organisation of sacred land, the relations between the sanctuary and the capital city of Mylasa, as well as about the active intervention in the practicalities of the sanctuary by the Hellenistic kings and their local governor, Olympichos. The architecture of Labraunda has contributed to architectural history above all with its two andrones, the most impressive banqueting buildings of any ancient site, and their use of a mixed architectural order involving Ionic columns and a Doric entablature for the first time in history, a fashion Vitruvius condemns 350 years later.
For more than sixty years, Labraunda has been the archaeology field school and study place for Swedish archaeologists, architects and other researchers and we can foresee Labraunda continuing to play a significant role as a meeting place for Swedish, Turkish and international scholars in the future.