Search in Turkey Carpets and Rugs Turkish Cuisine Site Search

The Lydian Treasure

Kizoldun and Dedetepe Tumuli

In 1994 a rescue excavation was carried out in the Gumuscay district, near Biga in the province of Canakkale, where a total of seven tumuli have been identified in an area known as Tumbetepe tumuli. In one of these, Kizoldun tumulus, were found two separate sarcophagus burials. The larger of the two sarcophagi, 3.32 m. in length, 1.60 m. in width, 1.78 m. in height, and made from fine marble, had been robbed in antiquity. Before being heaped with the earth of the tumulus, it had been covered with layers of tiles. Beneath the files, at the front of the sarcophagus, were found the wheels and bronze fittings of the funeral cart. On the four sides of the sarcophagus are four different scenes carved in relief.
Sarcophagus carved with relief scenes, Kizoldun
Those on the front (west) and the two short sides directly concem the deceased; that on the back face is believed to recreate a scene known from vase painting, the sacrifice of Polyksena, daughter of Priam, before the tomb of Achilles. Stylistic comparisons, with the reliefs of the Siphnian Treasury, for example, suggest a date of c. 540-530 BC.

Sacrifice of Polyksena; detail from Kizoldun sarcophagus

Sarcophagus carved with relief scenes, Kizoldun
The second sarcophagus, just over half the size of the first, contained the skeleton of a girl aged between eight and ten. The burial had not been plundered, and was found to contain a group of burial gifts: gold Jewellery, a silver ladle and plate, baked clay alabastra, a glass aryballos, and a painted wooden female figurine. The silver ladle is of the type known from Ikiztepe and other Lydian contexts, with calf-head terminal on the loop. The jewellery comprises four pairs of boat-shaped earrings with granular decoration, a pair of penannular bracelets with antelope-head terminals, and two elaborate necklaces, one composed of a series of flat beads with lotus decoration and lion-head terminals, the second with seed-like pendants. The burial perhaps dates to the late 6th-early 5th century BC.
At dedetepe tumulus, located at a distance of 7 km. from Kizoldun, was found a chamber tomb, measuring 3.60 by 3.60 m., and constructed of large marble blocks joined by lead swallow-tafl clamps. The ceiling was formed from four large blocks. The door at the Sothwest side of the chamber, was marble, and the chamber was preceded by a porch or antachamber. There were two marble klinai, placed respectively against the rear wall and the left wall of the chamber. Both had painted decoration, the legs with palmettes, volutes and meander design in Greek furniture tradition, painted in yellow, red, blue, green and black. The chamber had been robbed, probably during antiquity, and all that remained were fragments of wood and ivory. The date of the tomb is probably within the same range proposed for the sarcophagy found in the Kizoldun tumulus.
Painted klinai, dedetepe tumulus

Chamber, Dedetepe tumulus


This site prepared by Tayfun Kalyoncu on 28.02.1997 and last updated on 01.05.1999.
For any comments and suggestion please send an e-mail using the form at page mailform.html