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1,800-Year-Old Rock-Cut Tombs Explored in Turkey

Monday, October 18, 2021

UŞAK, TURKEY—Live Science reports that 400 rock-cut chamber tombs have been explored at Blaundos, an 1,800-year-old city site located on a hill in a branch of western Turkey’s Uşak canyon system. “Due to the rocky nature of the slopes surrounding the city, the most preferred burial technique was the chamber-shaped tombs carved into the solid rocks,” explained archaeologist Birol Can of Uşak University. Many of the tombs, designed with vaulted ceilings and decorated with painted walls, contained multiple sarcophagi, suggesting that families used the tombs and added chambers over many generations, he added. The wall paintings depict vines, flowers, wreaths, garlands, geometric panels, mythological figures, birds, and dogs. The tombs also contained pottery and artifacts dated to between the second and fourth centuries A.D., including mirrors, diadems, rings, bracelets, hairpins, medical instruments, belts, drinking cups, and oil lamps. Can’s team has also identified two temples, a theater, a public bath, a gymnasium, a basilica, city walls and a gate, and an aqueduct at the site. To read about the 11,000-year-old stone circles at Göbekli Tepe in Turkey, go to "Last Stand of the Hunter-Gatherers?"

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