Lake Bafa, located in the foothills of the mountains, was originally part of the open sea. It formed the rear part of the Gulf of Latmos extending deeply inland, the entrance to which was controlled by the city of Miletus (2). At the end of the gulf lie the Hellenistic town of Heraclea on Latmos and its predecessor settlement Latmos, as well as the Milesian port town of Ioniapolis from where the building materials from the Milesian marble quarries were shipped for the construction of the temple of Apollo at Didyma that remained unfinished (4). Numerous column drums, ready for transport, are still to be found on the shore of the lake or submerged in it. At Ioniapolis was the southern border between the territories of Heraclea and Miletus.
In the course of the centuries, the rear part of the gulf was cut off from the sea by the masses of silt deposited by the Meander and transformed into an inland lake (1-3). This process began in Roman times and continued over a considerable period. In the late Middle Ages there was still a link in existence between the sea and the lake.
1) Satellite image of the lower Meander valley. To the south of the Meander valley the Latmos Mountains and Lake Bafa.