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ANMED Issue: 2003-1
Work by the Silifke Museum in 2002

 Rescue Excavations at Gözleğentepe Necropolis
Construction work to widen the Silifke-Anamur highway exposed rock-cut tombs in Yeşilovacık District of Silifke; in 2000, a 5-day period of work enabled us to clean the earth filling from inside tombs No. 1, 2, and 3.

In a 20-day long campaign in 2002, 14 more rock-cut tombs in the Necropolis were cleaned and the related artefacts were recovered. A total of 18 rock-cut tombs have been discovered in the Gözleğentepe Necropolis. Tombs were cut into the rock where the calcareous earth is more like marl. Generally, following a stepped dromos a rectangular doorway, some of which still possessed their lid stones, leads into the burial chamber. Mostly there is a votive pit, surrounded by benches for the corpses to be placed upon. Behind these benches some tombs have arched niches cut into the rock walls. Only two of these tombs do not have votive pits. One tomb, quite unlike the rest, has walls plastered with a mortar of lime and broken pieces of stone.

 It was understood that the tombs had already to a great extent been robbed. Amongst the finds recovered are unguentaria, oil lamps, plates, bowls, stone loom weights, bronze medical instruments, and a coin from Elaeusse Sebaste. In addition, fragments of amphorae, lagynos, askos, glass tear shaped bottles and also skeletons were discovered.

Based on the small finds recovered, it can be inferred that the tombs were in use from the Early Hellenistic period, through the Roman period. In respect to the types of tombs found in the region, there is little evidence available for the Hellenistic period and the finds from the Gözle?entepe Necropolis fill a serious gap in the chronology.

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