Burial chambers uncovered in Metropolis
Burial chambers have been found in the ancient city of Metropolis in İzmir for the first time. Various gifts and bones belonging to a family have been uncovered within the chambers.
According to a statement made by the Sabancı Foundation, which collaborates with the Culture and Tourism Ministry to provide support for the excavations, this season’s works have ended in the ancient city.
The findings unearthed during the excavations shed light on the social life and burial customs of the time. Surface surveys in the ancient city also shed light on commercial life in Metropolis.
According to the statement, only single tombs have been found in the ancient city so far, but vaulted burial chambers, which had been among important tomb structures in the ancient ages, have been discovered for the first time. The burial chambers date back to the first century. Inside the chambers are candles, bronze mirrors and spoons, as well as glass and ceramic tear bottles, which are believed to have been offered as gifts to the dead.
Candles have been the most commonly found object inside the burial chambers, which are believed to have been left there to light the way for the dead. More than 11,000 historical artifacts have been unearthed in Metropolis, the statement said, adding that the ancient city had gained status as an archaeological site and has received thousands of local and foreign tourists in the last two years.
Associate Professor Serdar Aybek, the head of the Metropolis excavations and Manisa Celal Bayar University Archaeology Department, said new discoveries had been made during the exacavation works in and around Metropolis.
He said they had unearthed lots of new findings related to social life and their relations with neighboring cities.
“The vaulted burial chambers, which have been found in the ancient city for the first time, reveal important information about the cultural traces and burial customs in the region. These new findings show the concept of family was powerful in the first century and was respected in society. The castles highlight the city’s key place in commercial life in that age,” said Aybek.
Sabancı Foundation general director Zerrin Koyunsağan said their goal was to shed light on a city that is important in world history. “We are very excited about the excavations in Metropolis,” she added.
The ancient city of Metropolis, which has been undergoing excavations since 1990, is located between the neighborhoods of Yeniköy and Özbey. The history of the city dates back to the Classical Age and has continued with the Hellenistic Age, the Roman and Byzantine eras, the Beylics era and the Ottoman era.
A Hellenistic-era ancient theater, Bouleuterion (assembly building), Stoa (colonnaded gallery), a Roman bath and Palaestra complex, as well as two small baths are among the discoveries in the ancient city.