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2000-year-old tomb guarded by two bull heads discovered in Tharsa Ancient City

During the ongoing rescue and cleaning works in the ancient city of Tharsa, a new 2000-year-old tomb protected by two bull heads was discovered.

The ancient city of Tharsa is located on the borders of Kuyulu village on Adıyaman-Şanlıurfa Highway. Today the city is called ‘Turuş Rock Tombs’.

2000-year-old tomb with bull's head discovered in Tharsa Ancient City
Photo: IHA

Archaeologists said the bull’s heads were in the grave because of the belief that they would help the grave’s owner cleanse himself of evil spirits.

Above the entrance of the tomb, 2 bull heads (bucranion) are connected by a girlant ornament. There is a rosette in the center of the ornament.

2000-year-old tomb with bull's head discovered in Tharsa Ancient City

The 2 thousand year old tomb, known to have been used during the Roman and Byzantine periods, consists of 3 arcosolium.

So far, 60 tombs have been unearthed during the works carried out in the ancient city of Tharsa.

Mustafa Çelik, Deputy Director of Adıyaman Museum, said, “Tharsa Ancient City consists of 3 main archaeological areas: Big Mound, Small Mound and Necropolis Area. We started excavations in the necropolis area in 2024. We added 2 more rock tombs to the rock tombs we had previously uncovered. One of them is the rock tomb we identified today. This tomb, which consists of a main space and three arcosolium, has 2 bull’s head figures on the upper part of the entrance, which we call bukranyon in ancient times. In the middle part of the bull heads, there are decorations called girlants and rosettes. We continue our efforts to make this region a center of attraction for tourism.”

2000-year-old tomb with bull's head discovered in Tharsa Ancient City

Cover Photo: IHA

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