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Isparta 19062012_2786.jpg
19-Jun-2012 Dick Osseman

Isparta 19062012_2786.jpg

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The cemetery of Göndürle Höyük is located north of the höyük proper, in a place called “tepecik altı” on the south edge of Tavşan Tepe, 1 km. to the east of the village of Harmanören, 27 km. northeast if Isparta. The cemetery is spread over a large area on the plain and the sloping ground. The tombs first came to light during the widening of the village road at “tepecik altı”. When illegal digging began shortly thereafter, the Isparta Museum intervened and conducted three seasons of rescue excavations (1989-1992). Since 1993, excavations have continued under the direction of Prof. Mehmet Özsait of Istanbul University. Archaeological excavations have revealed a great number of jar burials and one sarcophagus. The tombs were almost all oriented east-west. The mouths of the burial jars faced east, surely the result of religious beliefs related to the rising of the sun. The jar mouths were closed either with a large flat stone of with another jar. With only a few exceptions, the dead were placed with their head near the mouth of the jar, their bodies flexed in hoker [?, I think something like “crouching” is meant – Dick Osseman] position turned slightly toward the north. Sometimes a first burial was pushed to the back, to make space for a second interment.
Among the gifts placed inside the jars are jugs with beaked spouts and painted bird eyes, tiny bowls and pots. Other findings comprise personal possessions of the deceased (pins, amulets, rings, earrings and bracelets), and utilitarian objects (axes, clay spindle whorls etc.). Thanks to these finds, the Göndürle Cemetery can be dated primarily to the Early Bronze Age [which according to the Wikipedia is: 3300-2100 BC].

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