Pithos burials found in Antandros
BALIKESİR - Anadolu Agency
Pithos burials have been unearthed in the ancient city of Antandros, which are believed to have been established in the 10th century on the skirts of the Kaz Mountains (Mount Ida) in the western province of Balıkesir’s Edremit district. This type of burial is known by locals as “cubic tombs.”
Pithos, which are described as big cubes used in the ancient ages to store olive oil or dry agricultural products, have been used as graves in the region since the sixth century.
Professor Gürcan Polat, Ege University Archaeology Department academic and head of excavations in Antandros, said the Antandros necropolis served from the eighth century B.C. to the first century A.D.
He said various types of burials were found in the region and the pithos type was one of them.
“We have found two pithos burials used by the Greeks. Pithos burials are big potteries used to preserve the dead before inhumation and cremation. But none of them were made to be used as graves. They are normally used for storage. But they were used as graves from time to time,” he said.
Polat said pithos burials begun to be used in the middle of the sixth century B.C.
“They were sometimes used as family burials. Two or three members of the same family were buried in these cubes. In one of these burials, we found the skeleton of a dog. I think a local of Antandros loved his dog so much and found this cube when trying to find a place for its body,” said the professor.