Podium Tombs and Necropolis Structures in Antandros

Aytekin ÜNEY

Dokuz Eylül University Institute of Social Sciences Classical Archaeology

Grave Structures in Antandros Melis Necropolis Master’s Dissertation


As a result of the recent researches carried out in the Necropolis of Antandros, it has been determined that this area had been used uninterruptedly from the 8th century BC until the 1st century BC. Almost all the different burial types can be encountered among the tombs dating to this period. These burial types vary according to their period.

In this necropolis where burial is dense, some tomb structures were brought to light. These structures that constitute the subject of this paper have been divided into two groups, namely, pyramidal and altar shaped tomb structures.

Pyramidal tombs were frequently represented on the scenes on white lekythoi produced in the 5th century BC. With the help of these vases, it has been possible to gather information about the function of these pyramidal tombs. These structures that had been built for sarcophagi, were placed on top of the tombs. Neatly cut stone blocks were placed on top of each other, going back one row on each step, creating a stepped pyramidal structure. Similar examples found in other locations show that these structures were popular in Western Anatolia and in Mainland Greece in the 5th century BC.

In the center of the altar shaped tomb structures built in the Hellenistic period, there is a usually a platform reached by two steps and the walls were formed around this platform. These structures were built with fist-sized stones VII and were completely coated with plaster. It can be seen that these structures built on top of tombs were built for one or more cremation. The stelai fragments found on the upper strata of these structures give the idea that these structures may have been built as stelai. Similar tomb structures are a very scarce architectural tradition in other locations. It has been observed that these structures came into use during the Hellenistic Period when there was an increase in cremation in the Necropolis of Antandros.

Although the periods and the architecture of the tomb structures uncovered in the Necropolis of Antandros are different, it may be said that they had similar functions. The steps of the pyramidal structures and the platforms of the altar structures must have been places where gifts were left after burial ceremonies held on certain days of the year.