Unusual Burials Unearthed in Turkey’s Ancient Port of Anemurium
Skeletons of four humans, one of which is a baby, have been found in an area which is believed to be a colonnaded street, during the excavations in the ancient port city “Anemurium” in the southern province of Mersin. The team was excited by the fact that the baby skeleton was buried in an amphora.
Excavation, research and restoration works continue throughout the year in the ancient city of Anemurium, located on an area of approximately 600 decares on the Mediterranean coast in the Anamur district by a team of academics and students from many different universities under the chairmanship of Professor Mehmet Tekocak.
The archaeologists have been recently working in an area, which is not a necropolis area and is thought to be a colonnaded street. They first reached the skeleton of a baby, which was carefully placed in an amphora, and then the skeleton of three individuals who are considered to be the baby’s family.
“At the moment, we are working in the area we call the colonnaded street. But during the previous and this year’s excavations, we found many human skeletons in this area. Now we found four individuals buried directly in the ground. But what is interesting for us is that although it is not the necropolis area of the ancient city of Anemurium, many human skeletons are found here,” said Tekocak.
Tekocak stated that the buried baby was in a broken commercial amphora. “What is interesting for us is that this is the first time we have encountered this situation in the region, and it is likely that a newborn baby died before long and its body was buried in a commercial amphora.
In other words, an amphora, left as a gift in the tombs and used in trade in ancient times, was the first time used as a baby grave in the ancient city of Anemurium.
Adult individuals were very carelessly buried directly in the ground. But they created a very special area for the baby. Babies and children always received special attention in ancient times. The love for a child, which is still valid today, somehow continues in the world of the dead,” he said.
Noting that due to the fact that they found skeletons on a street area, they had different thoughts, Tekocak said, “Maybe there was a church structure here that is not known in the literature and these burials were made in its garden.
Last year, we identified eight individuals in a single underground chamber tomb in the necropolis area. We found seven individuals in the area we are currently working this year.
In other words, here we are faced with seven human skeletons, five of which are adults, one is a baby, and the other is a child. Unfortunately, we have not encountered such a situation in the vaulted tombs of the Roman period in the necropolis area of the city.
Already in ancient times, these tombs must have been robbed. We have encountered such burials almost every year since 2018 in the ancient Anemurium.”