Attalid Dynasty burial site discovered in Western Turkey?
The burial site of the Attalid Dynasty, the Hellenistic dynasty which ruled the ancient Greek city of Pergamon after the fall of Alexander the Great, may have been discovered in western Turkey.
|The monumental burial site at Yiğma Tepe, atop a hill by Pergamon, had to have been created to commemorate somebody|
vastly important. Prof. Felix Pirson thinks it was the Attalid rulers [Credit: DAI-Pergamongrabung/A. Weiser]
Prof. Pirson remarked that the burial site was almost certainly created as a monument to someone of great importance, regardless of who was interred within. However, he says that there's a case to be made for the Attalids due to the gargantuan size of the burial mound, as well as indications leading researchers to date the mound to the second century BCE.
|Vaulted tomb that had been equipped with a complex locking mechanism, Pergamon excavation|
Pergamon became a seat of power for the Attalids, well-renowned as a breathtaking capital city for the Hellenistic kings that governed large regions of Asia Minor during the second century BCE. The city had enough longevity to last into the Byzantine era, based on archaeological finds on the northern slopes of the hilltop city that included ceramics, coins and spearheads from that time.
|The west slope of ancient Pergamon [Credit: DAI-Pergamongrabung/A. Weiser]|
However, the final resting place of Attalid kings has never been pinpointed - though the burial mounds at the bottom of the hilly terrain that Pergamon was perched upon have always been in the running. Located directly to the south, Yigma Tepe is unavoidable, reaching 31 meters in height and 158 meters in diameter.
|A 3-D reconstruction of ancient Pergamon, showing the monumental construction on the acropolis and the sprawling|
city below [Credit: DAI-Pergamongrabung/BTU-Cottbus/Darstellungslehre]
Pirson doesn't have plans to undertake such a massive - and invasive - excavation just yet. Instead, this coming season will see the use of geophysical surveys and seismic prospecting in order to glean any information about any inner structures present within the massive monument. The archaeologist is also hoping to learn more about how the mound itself was constructed.
Source: IAGC - International Association of Geophysical Contractors via Public [June 20, 2016]