Graves with Coins in Antandros Necropolis

Bala Yıldırım

Ege University Institute of Social Sciences Classical Archaeology

Master’s Dissertation Graves with Coins in Antandros Necropolis, Postgraduate Thesis


The graves with coins which are the bases of this study were examined in two categories; cremation and inhumation. The cremation graves belong to the Hellenistic period however the inhumation graves are also dated as Hellenistic culture except one Classical and one Roman.

In Necropolis of Antandros, some graves with dead were found with coins. When the ancient Greek burials are analyzed, the tradition of leaving coins in the grave could be interpretation of the underground journey. By many researchers, coins found in graves are thought to be the fee of boatman Charon to transfer the dead across the Styx River.

Especially, the advices of boatman Charon were located on the white lekythoi which were used for the funerals and produced during the 5th century BC. Coin context was found in one the earliest Greek graves in the North Corinth Cemetery and it belongs to the 2 nd quarter of the 5th century BC.

Bu çalışmanın konusu olan sikke kontekstli mezarlar, kremasyon ve inhumasyon gömüler olmak üzere iki başlık altında incelenmiştir. Kremasyon mezarların tamamı Hellenistik Döneme, İnhumasyon mezarlar ise 1 tane Klasik ve 1 tane Roma dönemine ait mezar dışında Hellenistik döneme tarihlenmiştir.
Antandros Nekropolisi’nde kadın, erkek, erişkin, çocuk ve köpek mezarlarında sikke ele geçmiştir. Bu da sikke bırakma geleneğinin ölen kişinin cinsiyeti, yaşı gibi özellikleriyle bir ilgisi olmadığını göstermektedir.

In Antandros Necropolis, the coins were discovered in the graves of women, men, adult, children and dogs. Thus, it shows us that the tradition of putting a coin in the graves is not something particular with the age and gender. The percentage of graves with coins in the whole necropolis is 13. Based on this fact, we can argue that the coin tradition was not that much practiced in the ancient Antandros. Probably, this is a something which was commonly used by the superstitious people.