TAÇDAMCENTRE FOR RESEARCH AND ASSESSMENT OF HISTORICAL ENVIRONMENT


Metu Tumulus I-II


METU Tumulus I

This tumulus is the one closer to the road from the so-called 'İkiztepe' (twin hills), which are located north of the road from Söğütözü to Atatürk Orman Çiftliği, and was excavated in the year 1967 by METU. The height of the tumulus measures 7m above the level of the road and its diameter 60m.


The Burial Chamber 

A 2.00m by 4.50m timber burial chamber was located at the centre of this tumulus. The burial chamber was discovered to have been constructed inside a 3.00m by 4.50m trapezoidal pit and the area left between the pit and the walls of the chamber as well as the top of the ceiling structure to have been filled up with pieces of stone. The position of timber remains from roof beams indicate that the burial chamber had a 1.70m height and a single row of ceiling planks.


Findings

Except three bronze pots and pottery protected under the north wall which had slidden towards the centre of the chamber under the load of stone blocks behind it, all of the burial gifts were discovered smashed and broken by the stone infill of the collapsed roof structure. Putting the broken pieces together, the place of only one of the four globular body shaped, thick and short-necked pottery could be defined to be by the side of the bowl with omphalos.

In front of the east wall of the chamber, eight fibulae and several bronze pieces from a belt were discovered below ceiling beams together with some parts of a skeleton. From the remaining pieces, the skeleton has been determined to belong to a woman of 30-35 age. Based on the bowls with ompholos and typology of fibulae, the tumulus has been dated to the beginning of 7th century BC, which makes it contemporary with the Royal Tomb in Gordion.

 

   


METU Tumulus II

In the year 1967, this tumulus, which had been preserved at the centre of the series of tumuli at Beştepeler District and convenient for excavations, was excavated by METU, taking the advantage of the technical know know accumulated from the excavation of Tumulus I. The stone infill covering the top of the central burial chamber of the 5m-high tumulus was discovered to have been a heap with a 10m diameter.


The Burial Chamber 

The burial chamber measuring 3.00m by 2.80m was discovered to have been constructed out of timber inside a trapezoidal pit dug into the main soil in 5.00m by 5.40m and 5.00m by 5.70m dimensions.

The stone infill over the ceiling of the burial chamber consists of considerably large pieces of stone of about 30-40cm. As could be understood from the walls of the chamber which were in good condition at the three corners, the height must have been 1.50 m. The mat or reed covering over the ceiling of the chamber was still visible as a horizontal layer among stones. The ceiling must have been constructed out of a single or double row of 30-35cm-thick beams.

 

The cavity between the pit and the chamber wall had been filled first with stone of about 70cm thickness, then with earth and, on top, with stone again; according measures should thus have been taken to prevent penetration of water from above and drain it away from the chamber.

 

Çalmaboğaz technique had been applied at the corner joints of the chamber. Walls had been constructed by projecting timber beams of 20cm thickness over each other. These beams had further been joined by vertical wooden blades.

 

The floor of the burial chamber must have been covered with a thin finishing. Together with the the log, the untreated side of which was placed facing downwards to form a base for the finishing, the thickness of the floor adds up to 35cm.

 

Findings 

The south wall of the chamber has slidden forward under the dead load of stones, covering three bowls with omphalos beneath it. Majority of fragments from gray pottery by the side of the bowls were also discovered beneath this wall. Putting the broken pieces together, six double-handled pots and six globular body shaped pots without handle could be re-assembled. A bowl with omphalos was recovered from the northeast corner. 4cm-thick pieces of iron were discovered forming a straight row 30cm away from the east wall. Two bowls with omphalos were discovered side by side at the centre of this row, however in totally broken condition.

Remaining pieces from the skeleton indicate that the dead body had been placed in the east-west direction in front of the north wall. The presence of a thick layer of felt-like material points to the possibility of the dead body's having been placed on a woollen bed or cloth.

 

On the basis of fibulae examples, Tumulus II has been dated to the first quarter of 7th century BC, slightly later than the Royal Tomb in Gordion.