ARCHAEOLOGY >Archaeologists discover ancient death chambers used for execution, torture in Bursa


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Centuries of dungeons that were recently discovered in Bursa were used for execution and torturing during the Bithynia Kingdom. AA photos

Centuries of dungeons that were recently discovered in Bursa were used for execution and torturing during the Bithynia Kingdom. AA photos

Archaeological excavations that have been carried out in the northwestern province of Bursa have discovered 2,300-year-old dungeons used for execution and torturing during the Bithynia Kingdom era. 

Archaeologists discovered that the dungeons, which contain a “bloody well,” “torture chamber” and “corridors connected to tower,” used horrific execution methods. 

Uludağ University Faculty of Science and Literature History of Art Department member İbrahim Yılmaz, who was on the excavation team, said within the scope of the project to reveal Bursa city walls, implemented by the Bursa Municipality, the restoration of centuries-old walls were continuing. 

Yılmaz said a large part of the 3,400-meter-long walls had been revealed and the locations of “Taht-ı Kale,” “Yer Kapı,” “Saltanat Kapısı,” “Kaplıca Kapı” and “Zindan Kapı,” which are around the city walls and provide entrance to the walls, had also been determined. 

Restoration in the Zindan Kapı in Alacahırka neighborhood, which is located in the last part of the walls, discovered dungeons, Yılmaz said. “Over these dungeons were houses were people were living. Considering that there were dungeons or dungeon remains might be there, we expropriated these buildings. After the houses were demolished, scientific excavations revealed remains of Bursa dungeons,” he said. 

Deaf, mute hangmen

He said all spatial features of dungeons in the era of the Bithynia Kingdom could be seen in those dungeons. He said the Bursa dungeons were the underground structures named “stucco” and connected to towers, and continued:

“These dungeons here include a ‘bloody well,’ ‘torture chamber’ and ‘corridors connected to tower’. There are also walls connected to the tower and dungeon chambers. Hangmen, who were deaf and mute, cut off the heads of prisoners here in the bloody well. While the head of the body was falling into the well, the body part was given to their relatives or left to the stream. There are also rumors that hangmen were selling dead bodies to families for a price. We discovered all of these things, proposed a project and it was approved. We will start construction here in the coming days.”

He said Bursa’s dungeons would come to light after 2,300 years and would be designed as an open-air museum. “Torture tools used in the past and places used for torturing will be displayed. We plan to display their mockups in two years,” Yılmaz said.


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