3 February 2023 The Future is the Product of the Past

Rock tombs dating back 1,800 years have been discovered in Turkey’s ancient city of Blaundus

In the ancient city of Blaundus, located in the Ulubey neighborhood of the western Anatolian city of Uşak, 400 rock-cut graves dating back roughly 1,800 years and decorated with various motifs were discovered.

Excavations continue in the ancient city of Blaundus, situated on a peninsula surrounded by Grand Ulubey Canyon, under the presidency of professor Birol Can of Uşak University’s Archaeology Department.

The necropolis was the focus of this year’s effort. These digs uncovered 400 rock tombs featuring multiple rooms, adorned with unique themes of vine branches, bunches of grapes, and flowers.

Excavation head professor Birol Can tell Anadolu Agency (AA) that Blaundos was built on a fortified hill.

An aerial view from the rock tombs in the ancient city of Blaundus, Uşak, western Turkey. (AA Photo)
An aerial view from the rock tombs in the ancient city of Blaundus, Uşak, western Turkey. (AA Photo)

“There is only one entrance to the city from the north, and the city is surrounded by a valley reaching a depth of 70 meters (300 feet) in some points. We determined rock-cut tombs in our recent works conducted in the steep sides of the valley. From the analysis of materials and bones, we found in this area, we understand that these rock tombs were intensely used after the A.D. second century. We can say that they were used as family graves.”

Two archaeologists work on the wall motifs of a room inside a rock tomb in the ancient city of Blaundus, Uşak, western Turkey. (AA Photo)
Two archaeologists work on the wall motifs of a room inside a rock tomb in the ancient city of Blaundus, Uşak, western Turkey. (AA Photo)

Can’s team believes there are a lot more burials underground as well. However, Can said that there are different types of rooms in the rock tombs and continued as follows:

Excavations unveiled 400 rock tombs featuring multiple rooms, the walls of which were decorated with special motifs of vine branches, bunches of grapes, and flowers. AA Photo

“There are arched sarcophagi carved into the bedrock in front of the walls of each room. Apart from these, places that are thought to be used for funeral ceremonies were also found inside the rock tombs. The main door of the tombs was closed with a marble door and reopened during burial or ceremony times in the past.”

Excavations unveiled 400 rock tombs featuring multiple rooms, the walls of which were decorated with special motifs of vine branches, bunches of grapes, and flowers. AA Photo

Can stated that while the preservation of the tombs is their first concern, they are also working on programs to promote and open these buildings. Can stated that there would be a walking route that begins at the city gate and circles the tombs: “Within this project, plans have been made to illuminate the area of the tombs. We are planning to make the entire necropolis visitable in the future.”

the ancient city of Blaundus
The ancient city of Blaundus

The ancient city of Blaundus was established by Roman Commander Blaundus as Alexander the Great was off to a campaign in Anatolia. The city was governed by Romans and Byzantines after Alexander the Great. It was the seat of the bishopric in these periods.

Located on a peninsula surrounded by deep valleys, the city’s important buildings include a castle, temples, theater, stadium, and a basilica.

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