Turkey’s Myra Necropolis – The City of the Dead
Myra Necropolis, located in the Antalya province of Turkey, is a fascinating burial site that is believed to have been in use during the Hellenistic period, between the 4th and 1st centuries BCE. It is an impressive collection of tombs, or ‘necropolis,’ that are carved into the cliffs surrounding the ancient city of Myra.
The burial site is spread over several levels, with the earliest tombs at the highest point, and the later ones closer to the ground. The most remarkable feature of the Myra Necropolis is the intricate stone carvings that adorn the fronts of the tombs. These carvings are highly detailed and often contain intricate depictions of people and animals.
The Myra Necropolis has been a popular tourist attraction for many years, with visitors coming from all over the world to witness its awe-inspiring beauty. The site is also of great historical and archaeological importance, as it offers an insight into the way of life, beliefs, and customs of the people who lived in this area thousands of years ago.
One of the most striking features of the Myra Necropolis is the Lycian-style tombs, which are carved into the cliffs and are easily recognizable by their distinctive shape. They are often described as resembling houses with peaked roofs and wooden beams, or as temple facades with columns and pediments.
The earliest tombs in the necropolis are simple chambers cut out of the rock, with no decoration or adornment. However, as time went on, the tombs began to be decorated with reliefs and inscriptions, depicting scenes of daily life, mythological figures, and religious symbols.
Another interesting feature of the Myra Necropolis is the presence of so-called ‘sideways-facing’ tombs, which are carved into the sides of the cliff face, rather than facing outwards towards the sea. These tombs were likely reserved for members of the community who were considered less important or wealthy, and they are generally simpler in design than the more elaborate tombs.
Despite being a popular tourist attraction, the Myra Necropolis is still an active site of archaeological investigation. Recent excavations have uncovered new tombs and artifacts, shedding light on the rich history of the area.