16.9.17

Skeletons found in tomb of the ancient Greek city Parion in Turkey

Parium (or Parion; Greek: Πάριον) was a Greek city of Adrasteia in Mysia on the Hellespont. Its bishopric was a suffragan of Cyzicus, the metropolitan see of the Roman province of Hellespontus

Founded in 709 B.C., the ancient city of Parion is located in the village of Kemer in the township of Biga in Çanakkale province of Turkey, currently. A major coastal city with two harbors in the Roman period, Parion had intensive relations with Thrace and Anatolia throughout history. This was the main customs station through which all Istanbul-bound goods from Greece and the Aegean had to pass.


The skeletons of a total of 24 people, including one child, have been unearthed from a chamber tomb opened during this year’s excavations in the ancient city of Parion in the northwestern province of Çanakkale. 

The mystery of this multi-burial tomb, which has surprised archaeologists and is estimated to date back to a period between the 1st and 3rd centuries, will be solved by anthropologic researches to be carried out next year. 


This year’s excavations have recently ended after they were initiated on July 3 in the 2,600-year-old ancient city of Parion, located in the Biga district’s Kemer village. 

Headed by Ondokuz Mayıs University Archaeology Department Professor Vedat Keleş, the excavations unearthed new findings this year. Among them, the most interesting one was the skeletons found in a chamber grave. The tomb was unearthed in 2011 during illegal excavations and the last tomb was opened this year.

“A chamber tomb was uncovered here in 2011. We started excavations in the same year and found six 2,600-year-old chamber tombs. Their architectures are similar to each other. But particularly the one that we opened this year and named OM-5 is very interesting in terms of its burial method. Even though the other five have the same architectural features, their burial methods are different. We found the skeletons of 23 adults and a child inside this one,” Keleş said. 
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He noted that they believe the people were buried at a time between the 1st and 3rd centuries. “It shows us that there was a significant demographic increase in Parion during those years. The skulls of 15 skeletons were found on one side of the tomb. Seven were buried in the northeast direction. We also found the skeleton of a child. The existence of six chamber tombs next to each other shows that people with special statuses were buried in this field,” he added. 

The professor said they also found some objects inside the tombs, which were put as gifts for the dead.

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“We found ancient items, including three tear bottles, one of which is a glass, a plate, an amphora and a pitcher. We also found a strigil, used by ancient people to clean their bodies,” he added. 

Keleş said they closed the chamber tombs to prevent damages on them, adding that the skeletons will be removed next year.

Source/Photography/Bibliography

http://www.ancientencyclopedia.com
Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2013, ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 950
P. Frisch (ed.), Die Inschriften von Parion (Bonn, 1983) (Inschriften griechischer Städte aus Kleinasien 25).
https://en.wikipedia.org
Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Parium". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.

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