Paphlagonia is one of those less known regions in northern Turkey, although it is considered to be one of the most ancient civilizations of Anatolia. We are much more familiar with Asia Minor and its early Greek colonies and with those regions conquered by Alexander the Great and his followers in Caria, Lycia, Pamphylia and Pisidia to name only a few. Generally, excavations are carried out in that part of the country to the disadvantage of regions like Paphlagonia.
But being forced into excavations after reported treasure hunters carried out their own digging, a rather impressive burial chamber from the 2nd century BC has been exposed in the Kastamonu Province, roughly northeast of Ankara.
This burial chamber measures 22 meters in diameter and its walls are five meters high. Apparently, much of the funeral monument had been torn down by the looters leaving the stone blocks scattered around. Archaeologists had to bring in a crane to lift each unique block weighing between 800 kg and 8,5 tons and after sorting them out they were able to replace each one on its own spot.
This is very first such burial chamber ever found in Paphlagonia and it is thought to belong to an aristocrat. It very much resembles Roman tumuli from Italy.
Now that the loose blocks are back into place, archaeologists will proceed with the overall restoration work and the landscaping around the grave monument.
This burial site is a first in the region and it will be interesting to closely follow future excavation in Paphlagonia.