The first mentions of the Karkisa occur during the reigns of Ramesses II of Egypt and Muwatullis of the Hittite Empire. Both of these emperors mention the Karkisa. Ramesses mentions the Karkisa in his inscriptions regarding the battle of Kadesh. In both the Bulletin and the Poem about the battle of Kadesh, the Karkisa are mentioned as a tribe that has joined forces with the Hittites. The Hittite record of the Karkisa reinforces the idea that the Hittites and Karkisa were allied at the time. In the annals of Mursilis, he mentions a person whom he sent to the people of Karkisa. Muwatullis paid the Karkisa to protect this man from his own brothers. The man then sided with an enemy of Muwatullis, and was recaptured. He now begs for vassalage from the Hittite emperor. In this story the Karkisa are represented as an ally of the Hittites, which fits their description by Ramesses II. The Karkisa make one final appearance in ancient literature. In the Onamasticon of Amenope, the Karkisa are mentioned in reference to the Lukka. This reference is only geographical in nature and does not mention anything aside from the location of the people. The geographical location of the Karkisa people is based on their relation to the land of the Lukka. Some scholars places the Karkisa in southwest Asia Minor, Barnett mentions specifically that the Karkisa are associated with the Hittite area of Caria, which is on the south-western tip of Anatolia.



The Carians; Κᾶρες, Kares were the ancient inhabitants of Caria in southwest Anatolia.

The relationship between the Bronze Age "Karkiya" or "Karkisa" and the Iron Age Caria and the Carians is complicated, despite having western Anatolia as common ground, by the uncertainties regarding the exact location of the former on the map within Hittite geography. Yet, the supposition is suitable from a linguistic point-of-view given that the Phoenicians were calling them "KRK" in their abjad script and they were referred to as "krka" in Old Persian.

The Greek historian Herodotus recorded that Carians themselves believed to be aborigines of Caria but they were also, by general consensus of ancient sources, a maritime people before being gradually pushed inland.

According to Thucydides, it was largely the Carians who settled the Cyclades prior to the Minoans. The Middle Bronze Age (MMI–MMII) expansion of the Minoans into this region seems to have come at their expense. Intending to secure revenue in the Cyclades, Minos of Knossos established a navy with which he established his first colonies by taking control of the Hellenic sea and ruling over the Cyclades islands. In doing so, Minos expelled the Carians, many of which had turned to piracy as a way of life. During the Athenian purification of Delos, all graves were exhumed and it was found that more than half were Carians (identified by style of arms and the method of interment).

According to Strabo, Carians, of all the "barbarians", had a particular tendency to intermingle with the Greeks,

"This was particularly the case with the Carians, for, although the other peoples were not yet having very much intercourse with the Greeks nor even trying to live in Hellenic fashion or to learn our language ... yet the Carians roamed throughout the whole of Greece serving on expeditions for pay. ... and when they were driven thence [from the islands] into Asia, even here they were unable to live apart from the Greeks, I mean when the Ionians and Dorians later crossed over to Asia." (Strabo 14.2.28)

An important evidence of the Carians' own belief in their blood ties and cultural affinity with the Lydians and Mysians is the admittance, apart from theirs, exclusively of Lydians and Mysians to the temple of the "Carian Zeus" in their first capital that was Mylasa.

One of the Carian ritual centers was Mylasa, where they worshipped their supreme god, called 'the Carian Zeus' by Herodotus. Unlike Zeus, this was a warrior god.

  • Ares warrior god (Aron)


Kos Island - Koans

A person from Kos is called a "Koan" in English.

In Homer's Iliad, a contingent of Koans fought for the Greeks in the Trojan War.

Koans - Kohen - Levi