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2,400 year old burial chamber found in southwestern Turkey

A burial chamber dating back to 2,400 years ago was recently unearthed at a construction site in the southwestern Turkish province of Muğla’s Milas district.

2,400 year old burial chamber found in southwestern Turkey

Milas Archaeology Museum officials found 103 artifacts in the burial chamber, untouched and unlooted for millennia, which is thought to have belonged to a wealthy local family.

Milas Museum Director Gülnaz Savran said the burial chamber was unearthed close to the holy road between the city of Mylasa, which was the capital of the Karia region in the ancient era, and the Labraunda religious center.

Savran said a settlement had been existing at the site for 2,600 years and that Milas was formed on this ancient city, which had a number of important structures that are officially under protection.

“We were recently informed that a marble tomb was found at a construction site. When we got there, we saw that the tomb had been removed and some parts of it were damaged. We started excavations in the area and realized there was a new burial chamber. Then we found that the chamber has never been looted, which made us very happy,” said Savran, adding that the museum carried out works in many fields in the city.

Excavations reached a rich trove of artifacts in the burial chamber, she stated.

“As it has never been opened and looted, all artifacts in the chamber have survived to this day. Considering its detailed craftsmanship, architectural structure and findings, this burial chamber belonged to an important family that lived in the Hecatomnus period and continued to be used by the same family over the following centuries,” Savran said.

A team has been working day and night in the burial chamber and managed to reach very important artifacts from 2,400 years ago, the museum director added.

“We found four skeletons and six other people who were buried in containers after being burned. We also found a child’s tomb in the chamber. We found very important artifacts there too, such as a necklace made of bone. This is a unique artifact that we have never before found. It is also very important that such artifacts were found in a child’s tomb,” Savran stated, adding that members of the same family were buried in the chamber with their gifts.

She said the excavation team had reached a total of 103 artifacts in the burial chamber, dating back to the Hellenistic and Roman eras. The number of artifacts is expected to increase during further works.

“Among the findings are earthenware candles, offering bowls, gifts for the dead, bowls for daily use, cosmetic tools and lots of golden threads,” Savran added.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News [October 11, 2016]

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