Skip to content

Extraordinary discovery in Cappadocia reveals ancient burial practices

Extraordinary discovery in Cappadocia reveals ancient burial practices Necropolis site found in Cappadocia, Türkiye (Anatolian Archaeology Photo)
By Selin Hacialioglu
Jul 9, 2024 2:00 PM

Cappadocia, a region in Türkiye renowned for its unique landscape and historical significance, has revealed a groundbreaking archaeological discovery.

Excavations have uncovered a necropolis in Nevsehir, challenging previous understandings of burial practices in the area.

This discovery near the Goreme Open Air Museum promises to reshape our knowledge of Cappadocia’s ancient history.

Discovery of Necropolis in Cappadocia

The excavation began after the closure of a road in 2022 that linked Goreme and Ortahisar. The road had been damaging the natural landscape and was subsequently closed to protect the area.

This decision led to the discovery of a necropolis, an ancient burial site, in an unexpected location. Unlike the typical rock-carved graves found throughout Cappadocia, this necropolis features diverse burial types, marking the first such discovery in the region.

Birol Incecikoz, General Director of Cultural Heritage and Museums and Head of the Cappadocia Area, explained the significance of this finding.

“We have identified new archaeological areas. This is the first necropolis in this geography with different types of graves,” he stated. He emphasized that if the road had not been constructed, this necropolis might have been discovered much earlier.

Archaeologists announce significant historical finds in Cappadocia

In addition to the necropolis, the excavation uncovered significant areas of historical importance, including the cellars, kitchens, and workshop spaces of the Balkonlu Church, located just above the Tokali Church. The Tokali Church noted for its size and its 9th century frescoes, now stands near an even more intriguing archaeological site.

Incecikoz shared his vision for the area, stating, “We know scientifically that the archaeological sites yield larger areas. We will reveal the area of Goreme Open Air Museum in a larger area and present it to visitors as an archaeopark.”

He added that their goal is to transform the site into an archeopark by 2025, expanding the museum and offering visitors a more comprehensive view of the region’s historical landscape.

Preservation efforts, future plans for Cappadocia

Cappadocia authorities are actively tackling illegal constructions that threaten the region’s integrity. So far, they have removed nearly 500 illegal structures.

Incecikoz stressed the importance of preserving the natural landscape, stating, “This region is very important. We are fighting against the elements that cause irreversible damage. Among our determinations, we identified 600 illegal structures. We have notified all relevant parties and have removed the first stage of these within the last 15 days.”

The discovery supports the “Heritage for the Future” initiative, which includes excavations in front of the Goreme Open Air Museum and the ancient city of Sobessos in Urgup. The project aims to open an area in Goreme in 2025 and expand further in 2026, ensuring that the historical treasures of Cappadocia are uncovered and maintained.

Last Updated:  Jul 9, 2024 4:49 PM