Cremation in the Ancient City of Antandros in the I. Millenium B.C

Özge Yıldız

Hacettepe Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü Antropoloji Anabilim Dalı

Cremation in the Ancient City of Antandros in the I. Millenium B.C.: A Study of Burial Customs, Master Thesis


From the 7th century BC to Byzantine period, burial practices took place in the ancient city Antandros that is a place in the Western Anatolia, where the tradition of cremation can be observed with reliable chronological data. This thesis comprises a comparative study of 72 cremated versus 137 inhumated individuals from Melis Necropolis.

Macroscopic deformations that occurred due to the loss of water and organic elements within the bones were used to better understand the nature of cremation practices in Antandros. In this study, sex and age group of each skeleton were analyzed to understand the differences of cremation and inhumation techniques. Keeping findings and the animal bones under consideration, the social status of the individuals were tried to be determined under these burial practices.

After the study of cremated bones in Antandros, it is found that the frequency of use of cremation practice had changed over periods. Another finding is that there is no difference in application of cremation between genders. However, as it is also supported by earlier studies and ancient writings, there is a significant difference in application between different age groups.

The study also shows that all cremated individuals were burned with flesh bone. Since their vertebrae, sacrum and coxae were partly burned, it can be concluded that these individuals were cremated lying on their backs. Additionally, the melted fibulas found on primary burials may lead to a fact that these individuals were burned with their clothes on.

Comparison of the findings and animal bones found in these practices did not point out any differences in social status. When compared with cremation practices in ancient v Greek and Urartian settlements, the cremation practice in Antandros is found to be a local practice with a flavor of longtime traditions of the ancient Troas Region.