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Rescue Excavation at the Eastern Necropolis in Antalya During 1998-1999
Cihan T?BET*
Ferhan BYKYRK**

18 tombs, all hewn from the bedrock of a calcareous stratum and extremely harmonious with the regional topography were discovered as a result of the Rescue Excavation carried out by the team on the site of the Eastern Necropolis of the ancient city of Attaleia which was named after its founder Attalos II, and became one of the important ports of the Pamphylia Region. The tombs were adapted for their functional purposes by the utilization of easily workable limestone layers, natural lissures and caves.

The tombs have characteristics, which shed light on the tomb architecture of Antalya’s ancient periods and the tradition of burial at that time, are dated from finds to the early Hellenistic through to the late Roman period and are discussed under 4 main groups delineated typologically:

A) Chamber tombs with dromos (7 tombs)
B) Chamber tomb with a raised bank, formed out of a natural cavity entered from the top (1 tomb)
C) Hollow tombs with two levels (2 tombs)
D) Hollow tombs of simple form (8 tombs)

Divided into two areas by a canal cut in the bedrock, running northwest to southwest and measuring approximately 4 meters wide by 0.7 meters deep, the area has 8 tombs on its northern lot and 10on its southern. There is a limestone quarry at the eastern end of tne canal. The lime scoop up from there was used in the tombs after a slaking process.

The tombs, unearthed at today’s Dogu Garaji (the Eastern Terminal), can be considered as evidence for rock-hewn chamber tombs, known to be nearly a millennium-old tradition in ancient Anatolia, which through modifications were use until the close of the Roman period. They are important because they cast light on areas that were previously in darkness.

*Cihan Tibet, Antalya Arkeoloji Mzesi – Antalya.
**Ferhan Bykyrk, Antalya Arkeoloji Mzesi – Antalya.

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