Founded on the Xanthos river basin, Xanthos is the biggest and the most ancient city of Lycia. Having remained independent until the invasions of the Persians in 4292 B.C., Xanthos tried hard to defend against the invasions. However, upon realizing that they had been defeated, the people of Xanthos first murdered their women, then commited suicide as a whole. Afterwards, 80 families imigrating to the region, refounded the city. The re-esatblished city thenceforth strengthened its connection with the west and became an important center. However, approximately 100 years later, the city was totally destroyed by a great fire, despite it being an importan center.
The city was founded around center of Lycia and outside it, were the remains of a Roman city center. The Roman theater and the findings at the west side of the theater still attracts the visitors. Only the duplication of the work of art, the original of which is on exhibited in British Museum in England, can be seen in the region.