Road construction work in the western province of Uşak has unearthed a 2,000 year-old necropolis (graveyard) from the Roman era.
Because there were no skeletons in any of the 33 graves in the necropolis, officials believe the local people built symbolic graves for their relatives who had lost their lives during war.
Uşak Museum Deputy Director Şerif Söyler said the graves were found in an area close to the Kayağıl village. After the registry of the field, they initiated excavations with the permission of the Culture and Tourism Ministry and opened the graves.
So far, they have found three types of tombs in the field—an arcosol tomb, a simple tomb and rock-cut tomb.
“It is interesting that we have not found skeletons in any of the tombs. This makes us think that this is a symbolic necropolis area. Local people, who had lost their relatives in war and did not find their bodies, have formed a symbolic necropolis area here since people organized ceremonies in front of the tombs according to their belief in this era. We believe that the tombs were created to hold these ceremonies,” he said, adding they had also found many tomb gifts during excavations.
Some tombs which are close to the surface were destroyed by treasure hunters, adding that such damage to the historical and cultural heritage could never be compensated, said Söyler.
“The fate of the region will become clear after the protection measures are taken. What is important to us is to finish these excavations in this field,” he said.
Uşak is rich in terms of archaeology and a report will be made when the excavations are finished, Söyler added.
Nearly 200,000 year-old remains of Neanderthal people, who lived in the Paleolithic age, have been unearthed in the Sürmecik excavation field in the Banaz district.
“We want to unearth the archaeological richness in the city. The symbolic necropolis area in Kayağıl village is remarkable. Excavations will also be initiated in the ancient Roman city of Blandus in the coming days,” he said.