The burial ground was discovered in the 2,750-year-old necropolis area where archaeologists unearthed 2,777-year-old skeletons, a silver necklace, 39 earrings, an amulet, a lion brooch and a belt depicting mythological characters.
Archaeological excavations have unearthed a burial ground, belonging to 9th Century BC Urartian royals in eastern Turkey’s Van province.
The burial ground was discovered in the 2,750-year-old necropolis area, which was unearthed two years ago, during an excavation at Cavustepe Castle, a fortified site in the Gurpinar district.
A team of 22 excavators — including anthropologists, archeologists, art historians and restoration work officials — discovered the burial ground. Experts believe that the discovery will help with studying ancient civilisations in the name of science.
The team led by archaeology professor Rafet Cavusoglu discovered 2,777-year-old skeletons, a silver necklace, 39 earrings, an amulet, a lion brooch and a belt depicting mythological characters.
Urartian aristocrats are assumed to be buried in the 50-square-metre area.
Van, known as the pearl of Anatolia, has been home to many civilisations for millennia. Urartians, believed to have come from central Asia, ruled the region for almost 250 years in the 9th century BC.
Experts believe the latest findings at the Urartian castle, built by King Sarduri II in 750 BC, will offer new information on the burial customs and nature of the ruling class of the ancient civilisation which lived in the Bronze and Iron age in eastern Turkey and northwestern Iran.
The kingdom mysteriously disappeared in the 6th century BC, and its remains were discovered as a distinct ancient culture by excavations carried out in the 19th century.
Cavusoglu said two types of burial traditions were discovered in the necropolis, and the findings are expected to contribute to history.
"The ruling class living at the castle had been buried here. We see different styles of burials and the advent of polytheistic religion," he added
Cavusoglu said they have also found an area covered with stones, bursting with urn vaults, measuring 10 by 5 metres.
"Some of the stones are placed in order, others are jumbled."
Excavators are still trying to find out the purpose of use of the area.
"It's a very interesting area, different from other sites that we have excavated in the necropolis so far," he added.
The team expects to find many more pieces of history during the process of excavations.