New artifacts found in Black Sea region excavations
Gifts dating back 1,800 years that have been given to the dead throughout history have been unearthed in a grave in the ancient city of Hadrianaupolis in the Ezkipazar district of the northern province of Karabük.
Excavations started in 2003 in the ancient city, located three kilometers west of the district, in different places such as two baths, two church structures, a defense structure, rock tombs, a theater, an arched and domed structure, monumental cultic niche, ramparts, villas, other monumental buildings and some cult areas under the coordination of Karabük University Archaeology Department academic Ersin Çelikbaş.
Earlier excavations in Hadrianaupolis have unearthed ancient money, bone clasp, unguentarium (tear bottle), tombs from the 2nd century, votive plaque and late Chalcolithic-era pottery and offering pits were found. This year the artifacts including the 1,800-year-old dead gifts (grave offerings), candle, a medical tool, ring and mirror were found in the grave of a woman.
Among the findings obtained from Hadrianaupolis, which is famous for the mosaics depicting many animals such as horses, elephants, panthers, deer and “griffins,” seen in the history of art, the movable ones are taken to the museums in the surrounding provinces, and the immovable ones are preserved in their original location.
Speaking to the state-run Anadolu Agency, Çelikbaş said that the excavations, which have been continuing in periods since 2003, will continue uninterrupted from now on and it will be displayed to visitors sooner.
“Hadrianaupolis covers an area of 12 kilometers. People can visit only one display area. We plan to make the roof projects of other areas and open them to visitors,” he said.
Stating that they learned that the Hadrianaupolis dates back to the late Chalcolithic period due to the findings revealed during the excavations carried out this year, Çelikbaş said: “We have obtained very important findings from the excavations this year. One of the excavations, which continue in three areas, is in the Necropolis area, which consists of rock tombs. We reached very important tombs in the necropolis area. We can say that these tombs are the most important materials that tell us about the people of that period with their gifts and traditions and rituals.”
Noting that one of the tombs they found was very interesting, Çelikbaş said, “We think the tomb belongs to a woman. The gift given to the dead that we found inside the tomb showed that. A lamp, a medical instrument, a ring and a mirror came out of the tomb. For this reason, we think that the grave belongs to a woman and that the woman is a physician in professional terms because among the finds there is a spoon-tipped catheter. This is a tool used by physicians in ancient times. Women also use this tool in cosmetics, but we need to consider that this grave belongs to a physician.”
Çelikbaş said that the tomb dates back to the Roman Empire period, which they understood from the coins in it, “The tomb is from 1,800 years ago, the Roman Empire period. The coins found inside the tomb prove it. I can say that it is the earliest tomb unearthed in the region.”
Çelikbaş added that 2020 was a year of important findings for the region and the ancient city.