Necropolis of Apollonia a.r. mudbrick grave

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Bursa Uludağ University, Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü, Turkey

Approval Date: 2019

Thesis Language: Turkish

Student: Osman Ercan



In this thesis, 16 examples of graves where mudbrick were used as building materials were examined among the graves uncovered by rescue excavations carried out in the necropolis area of the ancient city of Apollonia ad Rhyndacum. It is remarkable that the mudbrick graves unearthed in the light of day are not known in Western Anatolia and Marmara Region. In addition, the lack of a study on the construction techniques, typology, and origin research on such graves directed us to this area. First of all, the technical analysis of the tombs was carried out by means of excavation reports and onsite examination, and then the necessary maps, drawings and visual contents were created. In the library and online databases, the literature was searched for the different grave forms and coverings we encountered. In accordance with the data obtained from the research, grave typology was determined by evaluating with similar samples. In addition to this, the distribution areas were determined by using the root research, and the usage areas of mudbrick, supply of raw materials, structural properties and construction techniques were determined. Finally, by examining the grave forms and the top cover types we have discussed separately, a nomenclature was proposed for the new grave types identified. When we evaluate the grave structures and their top covers separately, the distinctive forms that affect the graves are identified as “mudbrick cist” and “Cappuccina” graves. It is known that the “mudbrick cist” graves were spread to the Late Chalcolithic Period and later in Anatolia during the Late Chalcolithic Period, with examples unearthed in Carchemish, Korucutepe, Hanaytepe, Girnevaz, Alişar, Tepecik and Oylum Höyük. Later, on Tel Ahmar in northern Syria, Hamam et-Turkman, in the Middle and Late Bronze Age in Egypt, such as Tell el-Retaba and Tell al-Dab'a settlements these tombs are seen starting from the Early Bronze Age. The origins of other prominent form on the tombs has been determined as Italy. Although the most common period of the tombs called "Cappuccina" was the Roman Imperial Period, the early examples in Europe were dated to the 6th-7th centuries BC. century. Their simple soil burial characteristics indicate that such graves are used by poor social classes. The Cappuccina tombs, which became increasingly widespread during the Roman Imperial Period, were spread to many Roman provinces, including the Anatolian geography, and were used and assimilated by the peoples of the region. Many of the examples we have uncovered bear the "composite grave” identity, which clearly demonstrates that different types of burial traditions can be interpreted together with other common grave forms in the region where they are moved and applied with a new and different understanding. In addition, another form of top cover has been identified in which we cannot determine the exit point and spreading areas. According to this understanding, the cremation section in the coffer is not covered with a barrel roof but rather as a rafter roof with mudbrick plates extending directly on the opposite long edge. Thus, a triangular area was formed between the ground floor and the top cover. Considering the form and material used, the top cover type was named as “single sided mudbrick slab roof grave”. As a result, six different types of tombs based on the mudbrick industry were identified in the Apollonia Necropolis and naming proposals were determined according to the construction techniques, forms and forms of the top cover. The nomenclature in the graves was made by considering first the type and then the way it was covered. Among the uncovered tombs, primary cremation was applied only to the graves prepared using mudbrick material, and when chronologically considered, it was found that burials were generally made in the 1st century AD. ın simple earthen graves, the top cover is formed as a cradle roof with mudbrick material. In the cist graves, there are examples of cradle roof, rafter roof, stone cover or two forms used together. When we examined the examples of mudbrick used as a building material, it was observed that the construction techniques and application methods changed according to their usage areas and functions. The study was carried out to determine the methods of supply and shaping of clay mortar and mudbrick materials used in grave structures, top cover systems and landscaping. As a result of the survey we conducted in the region, two clay beds have high reserves were found, one in the necropolis and the other on the northeastern shore of Lake Uluabat. When the mudbrick industry was examined, four possible techniques were identified. The methods evaluated under the title of mudbrick construction methods were determined as pisse technique, forging technique, masonry technique and block technique. Generally, materials such as clay, water, straw, sand, gravel, grass and twigs were used as additives. Finally, over the graves we uncovered, the application areas of the mudbrick material were determined in the mudbrick usage section of the necropolis area.