Skip to comments.Stone Age skeletons uncovered during tube tunnel excavations
Posted on 08/11/2008 3:01:40 PM PDT by decimon
Human skeletons, which experts say could be more than 8,000 years old, were found in four prehistoric graves recently unearthed at the Marmaray tunnel excavation site in the Yenikapı district of Istanbul.
These graves reveal Istanbul used to be home to some of the earliest types of settlements during the Stone Age when people migrated from Anatolia to the European continent,� said Mehmet Özdoğan, professor of prehistory at Istanbul University. �They also show that the Marmara Sea used to be a small and shallow water in ancient times.
Özdoğan said the graves, two of which were smaller than the others, might date back to between 6,400 B.C. and 6,200 B.C. The human skeletons were the oldest skeletons unearthed so far during the Marmaray project, which will be the first underwater tube to connect Europe and Asia beneath the Bosporus. The approximately 150 skeletons found already date back to the Byzantium period. He said the site was plastered and the Stone Age skeletons have been moved to the Istanbul Archeology Museum.
Particularly the excavations carried out in the Fikirtepe district have yielded fruitful results,� said Özdogan.
Excavations on the area where tube station will be constructed are lingering due to the discovery of new relics one after the other. The excavations in Yenikapı started on a 58,000-square-meter area in 2004. Some archaeological excavations have been held on about 30,000 square meters so far. Other than skeletons, the digs have revealed 32 sunken ships dating back to the seventh and 11th centuries. The sunken ships have been conserved at the Istanbul University and the Underwater Research Institute in Bodrum.
The Marmaray excavations have also revealed remnants of some walls, which are thought to be the first city walls of Istanbul. Also, an ancient harbor has been unearthed together with some nine skulls. About 500 pieces taken from the relics unearthed during the Marmaray excavations were exhibited at the Istanbul Archeology Museum.
Turkey bone ping.
Big deal, the Middle East is full of living stone-age specimens.
Neat! Wonder how old the bodies were when they died.
Helen Thomas was reported as saying, “Mom, is that you?”
One thing that always bothered me about Europe - there are not enough graves.
Europeans might have a different opinion on that.
I didn’t mean that more of them should DIE, you schmuck - I meant, given how long it has been populated, relatively little of it is dedicated to graveyards.
Compared to the US, by square area, population density, and historical population levels.
Which sort of says there are a lot of unmarked graves in the back 40, on every farm in Europe.
Every farm and every everywhere, I'd think.
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Ancient ships and other treasures have been found at the Portus Theodosiacus archaeological site, which forced a redesign of the main train station of the Marmaray Project. And that's holding up construction of the undersea tunnel. Photo: Simon Norfolk
The scope of artifacts is overwhelming. Some date back to the 6th millennium BC, the oldest settlements ever uncovered in Istanbul. Pottery fragments, shells, and pieces of bone litter the ground. Blue milk crates full of everything from amphorae to horse skulls are stacked head-high near trailers that serve as temporary offices. And somewhere in a storage facility are nine human heads, found in a bag.
Thanks. Y’know, I thought we’d had a topic about this, but now I’m thinking it was merely related, from some earlier (and much more recent) ancient artifacts and whatnot during an earlier phase of the project.
[Graves]”Every farm and everywhere.”
I asked my son what he would want done with his remains. His response, “Bury me in a cheap pine box in a cow pasture under an apple tree. That way, when the cows eat the fallen apples, they will be eating me. Only fair, since I’ve eaten enough of them.” Also, of course, as poor farmers and villagers did not make carved stone markers, only a few centuries would eliminate any trace of an organized graveyard. I visited a two centuries old US cemetary, I don’t remember where, but it was a young western settlement. Most of the graves were marked by a simple uncarved stone. Only a few of the later ones had any identifiable marks on them.
And, of course, there have been the many wars and recurring slaughters when there's nothing better to do.
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