A cemetery, but a magnificent cemetery. The 400 Roman tombs in Turkey are an amazing find. They date back 1800 years. And they’re part of one of the largest rock-cut chamber tomb necropolis in the world.
Necropolis on display
The tombs were discovered in the ancient city of Blaundos. It was founded during the time of Alexander the Great. It has existed during the Roman and Byzantine periods, about 180 kilometers east of the Aegean Sea.
Archaeologists had known about the necropolis for more than 150 years. Since 2018 they were able to carry out excavations at the site in order to document the ruins. For centuries the necropolis was exposed to thieves. But these stone tombs managed to survive the looting.
Several artifacts were found that would have been intended to help the deceased in the afterlife. In several chambers, researchers found grave goods. Mirrors, tiaras, rings, bracelets, oils, lamps… even medical instruments. They provide information about the people who were buried in these tombs.
Art on the walls
Something struck archaeologists at this discovery. The rock walls of these tombs were meticulously decorated with murals.
“They cover the walls, vaults and ceilings of the tombs. The style is of Roman characteristics. Creepers, flowers of various colors, wreaths, garlands, are the most used motifs. Besides these, there are mythological figures. Hermes, Eros, Medusa”. Birol Can, an archaeologist from Usak University in Turkey, described it.
These tombs were used by entire families for several generations. “They were used as family tombs. They were reopened for each deceased family member.” explained Birol Can.
The 400 Roman tombs in Turkey are complex structures. Excavations in the city have revealed many other vestiges. Temples, a theatre, a basilica, a gymnasium, an aqueduct gate, and so on. Researchers believe that there are still many underground structures in this necropolis to be discovered.