Cremated body discovered in rare 2300-year-old Istanbul tomb

Archaeologists say they have never before seen this type of a cremation tomb from the Hellenistic period.

 THE REMAINS OF an entire ancient Samaritan dwelling from the early Hellenistic period recently opened to the public by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority on Mount Gerizim are in surprisingly good shape. (photo credit: Noam Ych’ye/Natanel Elimelech)
THE REMAINS OF an entire ancient Samaritan dwelling from the early Hellenistic period recently opened to the public by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority on Mount Gerizim are in surprisingly good shape.
(photo credit: Noam Ych’ye/Natanel Elimelech)

Cremated remains were discovered by archaeologists in Istanbul in what they call a rarely found tomb, Anadolu Agency reported in early April.

The brick tomb dates back 2,300 years.

The body, which is believed to have been set on fire, was unearthed during the ongoing archaeological excavation at the well-known Haydarpasa Train Station in Istanbul’s Kadikoy district. At the time of burial, the area was known as Chalcedon, a thriving city in the Hellenistic period. Archaeologists also found a terracotta goblet and a perfume bottle inside of it. 

The Hellenistic-era earring unearthed near Jerusalem's Old City on August 8, 2018 (credit: ISRAELI ANTIQUITIES AUTHORITY/ CLARA AMIT)The Hellenistic-era earring unearthed near Jerusalem's Old City on August 8, 2018 (credit: ISRAELI ANTIQUITIES AUTHORITY/ CLARA AMIT)

Rahmi Asal, director of the Istanbul Archaeological Museums, told Anadolu that the discovery could lead to more valuable insights. 

"This is very valuable. It is one of the oldest finds in this area," he said, adding that "I have never seen this type of a cremation tomb from the Hellenistic period." 

Asal was referencing the fact that some of the individual's bones survived, despite likely being set ablaze.