Lycian tomb unearthed in home of Santa Claus
Excavations on a land in the southern province of Antalya’s Demre district, known for being the home of Santa Claus and visited by thousands of tourists every year, have unearthed a 2,400-year-old rock tomb from the Lycian era.
Archaeological excavations were initiated in the area by the Museum of Lycian Civilizations.
Nuri Bilgiç, a 40-year-old local of the Köşkerler neighborhood, was driving a bulldozer when he found a rock nearly four meters underground. But he then realized that it was a historical artifact and halted the work before informing the Demre Gendarmerie Forces.
The gendarmerie took measures in the region and asked for help from the Museum of Lycian Civilizations in Demre.
Nilüfer Sezgin, the museum’s director, and archaeologists detected a rock tomb underground.
Excavations carried out by three archaeologists and eight workers unearthed the Lycian rock tomb, which dates back to 4th century B.C.
Officials believe the two-floor and 5x4-meter-sized tomb, which is from the same period of rock tombs found next to an ancient theater in the ancient city of Myra, was robbed in the ancient era.
The tomb symbolizes the Lycians, who were sailors. Its lower part is in the shape of a bow and the upper part is in the shape of a house. The tomb has the features of the Lycian architecture and was carved from a basic rock.
The one-chamber and three-door tomb is believed to have been swallowed by alluviums when the Demre Stream (Myros in ancient times) flooded in the 6th century A.D.
On the left of the tomb, there is one more Lycian tomb on a 50- to 60-meter-high rock.
Museum officials said excavations would continue around the tomb to find other possible tombs.
“When working on my own land, the bulldozer found this artifact. We immediately removed the bulldozer from the land and informed the gendarmerie. It is a nice tomb. We did what every citizen should do,” the landowner said.