Works have been ongoing precisely in an area where a sarcophagus and many other simple-type tombs have been discovered in the southwestern province of Bodrum’s Muğla district. The cover of the sarcophagus, which includes 2,400-year-old historical artifacts, was opened by the Culture and Tourism Mehmet Nuri Ersoy last week.
The area of the sarcophagus was discovered during the foundation excavation of a construction in Yokuşbaşı neighborhood Cevat Şakir Street, and the excavation work was initiated by the Bodrum Castle Underwater Archeology Museum Directorate.
A meticulous study was still carried out on the other tombs, which have also been found in the same area of the sarcophagus.
The artifacts in the tombs, which have survived to present day in an intact condition, are carefully removed, cleaned and taken under protection. The team members, who also examined the male and female skeletons found in the tombs, think that the skeletons belong to a wealthy couple of their time.
While archaeologists and museum officials excavating in the region believe that more will come from the area where the artifacts were found, they are also making efforts to find other artifacts believed to be underground.
Speaking to the state-run Anadolu Agency, the Bodrum Castle Underwater Archeology Museum Director Hüseyin Toprak said that drilling excavations were carried out in the third-degree archaeological site belonging to a private owner.
Toprak stated that 12 simple types of tombs and a sarcophagus were found in the region during the works so far, and when the cover of the sarcophagus, which is larger than the other tombs, was removed, two skeletons were found inside it.
Explaining that they thought the burial site was an eastern necropolis part of Halicarnassus from the 4th century B.C., Toprak said, “The burial site was not damaged at all and remained as it was buried. The artifacts inside were also unaffected by any factor. This tomb aroused excitement in Bodrum and the world of archeology. Work in the sarcophagus area was initiated immediately. Inside the sarcophagus, ceramic container, gold ring, gold necklace fragments, coins and broken amphora pieces were found in the first place. We can say that these pieces belong to the burial ritual and that the works date back to 2,400 years ago.”
Emphasizing that the area, located just east of the city walls of Halicarnassus and known as the eastern necropolis of the city, was used extensively until the Roman period, Toprak said, “More than 50 tombs have been excavated in this area, especially the tomb of the Carian princess. Tomb finds are exhibited in the halls of the Carian Princess and the Eastern Necropolis at the Bodrum Underwater Archeology Museum.”
Stating that the excavations and rescue efforts carried out in the region will also shed light on the history of Bodrum, Toprak noted that the restoration of the finds and scientific studies will be carried out by the experts of the Bodrum Castle Underwater Archeology Museum after the studies are completed and will be exhibited as soon as possible.
Hurriyet Daily News