Two 7th century B.C. graves accidentally discovered in Turkey

December 29th, 2008 - 5:02 pm ICT by ANI  

Istanbul, Dec 29 (ANI): Construction of a cesspool at the house in a village in Turkey has led to the accidental discovery of two ancient graves, dating back to the 7th century B.C.

According to a report in the Hurriyet Daily News, the graves were found at the house of Mehmet Coban in the Damlibogaz village of Muglas Milas district, which hosts the ancient city of Hydai.

First excavated and thought to pertain to a noble family, the ancient graves have human skeletons, prayer pots, ceramic pots, wineglasses, accessories, hunting equipment and candles.

The local officials said that they were really surprised the graves had been so well preserved.

We initiated the work in the area after getting the necessary permissions. We have to conduct the works by kneeling down or crawling since the graves are quite narrow. We also try to understand the burying techniques and the traditions, said Erol Ozen, director of the local museum.

I think the equipment in the graves will give us important clues about the living conditions of the time. Moreover, the workmanship on the pots reveals the expertise in Hydai. The police forces will be on guard at the graves since the work will take time. Similar examples of the artifacts in Damlibogaz only exist at the Sadberk Hanim Museum, Ozen added.

Mehmet Coban was very surprised that the ancient graves were found while digging for a cesspool.

Noting that he inherited the house from his father, who inherited it from his father, Coban said, We have been living on a cultural treasure for years without knowing it.

There is no visible architectural structure on the ground since the alluviums carried by the Saricay in the Damlibogaz village covered it up.

The name of the city comes from Hydai meaning water in ancient Greek.

Two other graves in the village were found in 2000 through excavation work conducted in collaboration with the Mugla University Department of Archeology and Art History. The works are exhibited at the Milas Museum. (ANI)

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