Tombstones found in Hasankeyf 'unique'
Excavations in the historical Hasankeyf district have been continuing with six art historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, two restorers and four intern students, headed by Mardin Artuklu University History of Art Lecturer Zekai Erdal.
Erdal told the state-run Anadolu Agency that excavations continue in and around the Great Palace located in the historical place.
Noting that the scientific publications wrote that the Hasankeyf Castle has an uninterrupted history from the Roman period to the present, Erdal said the 12,000-year-old Hasankeyf mound, located near the historical settlement, indicates that there was life before the Roman period.
Stating that a detailed study was carried out in the tombs, which were found in front of the walls to the east of the Great Palace and have survived since the 1820s, Erdal said that they are working to reveal the Great Palace wall.
Explaining that cemeteries in Turkish-Islamic architecture are in the form of head stone, foot stone and single stone, Erdal said: “There are examples of an ear-like, triangle protrusion in the middle of the pehle stones [large flat stone in the side of a tomb] unique to Hasankeyf. While some of these protrusions are plain, some have writing, and some have ornamentations. This type of tomb is not found in our investigations in the area and in the cemeteries in the Ahlat, Bitlis, Silvan, Diyarbakır and Siirt provinces, which have a deep-rooted history around Hasankeyf.”
Noting that they showed the tombstones of different structures in Hasankeyf with experts in their fields, Erdal emphasized that no tombstone in this tomb typology has been identified so far.
“When we asked about the typology of the tombstones we found, these experts said that they had not come across such a tomb in other parts of Anatolia until now. In parallel, it is true to say that the protrusion on this pehle stone, tombstones and tomb typology are unique to Hasankeyf.”