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Burial Gifts Discovery at Infant’s Grave a First at Ancient Greek City

Burial Gifts
Ruins at the ancient Greek city of Kelenderis site in Turkey, where archeologists just found burial gifts at a child’s grave. Credit: Klaus-Peter Simon CC-BY-SA 3.0 Wikipedia Commons

Archeologists at the ancient Greek city of Kelenderis on the Turkish coast have, for the first time,

discovered burial gifts, including glass bracelets, at a child’s grave along with a furnace for tile production.

The skeleton of the boy had four solid glass bracelets on his arm, and the find included other gifts, clothes, and a wooden coffin, the Hurriyet Daily News in Turkey reported.

The excavation site in the Mersin district about 100 kilometers north of Cyprus dates back 2,800 and has been ongoing since 1987.

While about 150 tombs have been discovered around the site’s Odeon, none had burial gifts, head of the excavations team Mahmut Aydın said, according to the report. Partly because the burial is different from others, Carbon 14 analysis will provide details about when the child died. The burial site was thought to be in use around the Middle Ages.

Burial Gifts Include Ceramic Piece

Along with the bracelets, there was an inscription on a ceramic piece and a cup. Remains of babies were found around the child’s grave; Aydin said it was a children’s burial location.

The discovery of the commercial furnace, which dates back 1,300 years, is believed to have been used to produce tiles and another discovery first for the team. Aydin said they knew there was an oven at the location but couldn’t find it until now. Last year, they discovered a number of roof tiles dating back to the 7th century. The team may find more inside the furnace once it is emptied, he noted.

Ruins at the Kelenderis date back to Roman times and even later, with the location including the remains of thermal baths, fortification walls, cisterns, and an agora.

A few years after excavation began at the site, a large mosaic from the 5th to 6th centuries was uncovered, according to the website tuerkei-antik. The mosaic depicts the port of Kelenderis.

Last fall, an archaeological discovery in Turkey unearthed dozens of terracotta figurines depicting ancient Greek gods, men, women, and animals. The artifacts, over 2,000 years old, were found in the ancient Greek town of Myra, now called Demre, in Turkey. Some of the figurines incredibly still had paint on them and others had inscriptions, providing archaeologists with a view of life in the region in the 1st and 2nd centuries BC.


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