Toys found in child tombs in ancient Parion

Toys found in child tombs in ancient Parion

ÇANAKKALE – Anadolu Agency
Toys found in child tombs in ancient Parion

Archaeological excavations in the ancient city of Parion, the most important harbor city in the Hellenistic era, have uncovered 2,000 year-old toys in child tombs.

Excavation team member and Atatürk University Archaeology Department Associated Professor Hasan Kasaoğlu said they have unearthed various findings in the child tombs.

The ancient city of Parion is located close to the Kemer village in the northwestern province of what is known today as Çanakkale’s Biga distict.

He said the toys were put in the tombs of children as a gift to the dead and were similar to children’s toys today.

“The objects put especially in the tombs of children in Parion provide us information about sociocultural structure, games played by children and toys of the era. We have previously found a nearly 2,000 year-old baby bottle in a different field in the ancient city,” said Kasaoğlu.

According to Kasapoğlu, dolls were put in the tombs of female children in the first century A.D.

“In the tombs of male children, there are male figurines [statuettes], reflecting noble characters in the era. Just like today’s children play with Barbie or Cinderella dolls, toys in the past were similar. Everything is the same today as it was 2,000 years ago. Even though there are differences in the shapes of objects, human mentality is the same,” he said.

Kasapoğlu said the region’s history dates back to earlier times and they aimed to reach data about it in coming days.

So far, they have obtained data from the seventh century B.C., he said, adding the data revealed the sociocultural structure since the end of the seventh century.

The toy-like objects put in the tombs of male or female children starting from the second half of the seventh century B.C. were mostly made of stone or bones, said Kasapoğlu.

“Children and adults were buried in the same necropolis in the Roman era. There were small wooden coffins for children in this era. They were laid down inside these coffins and toys or daily tools used by the family were put around their body. There are woman figurines in female children’s tombs. They have the same concept as today’s Barbie dolls or other toys for female children. Besides the toys, various animal figures as well as Eros and Hermes were put in the tombs to accompany the children in their travel to the other world,” he said.