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Mass burial found at ancient Parion

The skeletons of a total of 24 people, including one child, have been unearthed from a chamber tomb opened during this year’s excavations in the ancient Greek city of Parion in the northwestern Turkish province of Canakkale.

Mass burial found at ancient Parion
AA Photo
The mystery of this multi-burial tomb, which has surprised archaeologists and is estimated to date back to a period between the 1st and 3rd centuries, will be solved by anthropological research to be carried out next year.

This year’s excavations have recently ended after they were initiated on July 3 in the 2,600-year-old ancient city of Parion, located in the Biga district’s Kemer village.

Headed by Ondokuz Mayis University Archaeology Department Professor Vedat Keles, the excavations unearthed new findings this year. Among them, the most interesting one was the skeletons found in a chamber grave. The tomb was unearthed in 2011 during illegal excavations and the last tomb was opened this year.

“A chamber tomb was uncovered here in 2011. We started excavations in the same year and found six 2,600-year-old chamber tombs. Their architectures are similar to each other. But particularly the one that we opened this year and named OM-5 is very interesting in terms of its burial method. Even though the other five have the same architectural features, their burial methods are different. We found the skeletons of 23 adults and a child inside this one,” Keles said.

He noted that they believe the people were buried at a time between the 1st and 3rd centuries. “It shows us that there was a significant demographic increase in Parion during those years. The skulls of 15 skeletons were found on one side of the tomb. Seven were buried in the northeast direction. We also found the skeleton of a child. The existence of six chamber tombs next to each other shows that people with special statuses were buried in this field,” he added.

The professor said they also found some objects inside the tombs, which were put as gifts for the dead.

“We found ancient items, including three tear bottles, one of which is a glass, a plate, an amphora and a pitcher. We also found a strigil, used by ancient people to clean their bodies,” he added.

Keles said they closed the chamber tombs to prevent damages on them, adding that the skeletons will be removed next year.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News [September 16, 2017]

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