Çataltepe Tumulus

Çataltepe Tumulus


It is located on the South East side of a 10 m. high hill which lies on the East side of Enez.

The burial chamber is laid out in a North-West-South-East direction, with its dromos and its door facing South-East. The vault that covered the ceiling of the chamber has collapsed into the middle of the chamber. The chamber is 4.70 m. long, 3.25 m. wide and 4.00 m. high to the vertex of the vault.


The North-West wall remains intact up to the setting of the vault. The upper sides of the other walls have collapsed. In general, the walls are 0.55m. thick. By placing the first row of stones on the floor back by 1 cm., the second row by 0.5 cm. behind the first row, 25 cm. wide overlapping step mouldings have been created. The walls that stand on them rise straight to a height of 2.00 m. After this height, by narrowing the walls proportionately, semi-circle shaped barrel vaults have been formed. Where the walls intercepted the mouldings, a 27 cm. wide moul-ding with three grooves and four bands surrounded the burial chamber. Some of this moulding survived to our day.

The doorway to the burial chamber is 0.90 m. wide. The dromos which lies in front of the doorway has only its West wall intact. The fact that no remains of the other wall have been discovered, tells us that this wall was not completed. The West wall of the dromos is 4.20 m. long.

As you enter the burial chamber from the doorway, on the right side of the room there is a sarcophagus built out of large blocks of white marble. It is buried in between the floor covers, in a North West-South East direction. It is 2.30 m. in length, 0.95 m. in width and 1.30 m. in depth. It is covered by two gabled lids. One of these lids is larger than the other. Square cross sectioned channels have been carved out on the corners of the lids to fit unto the body of the sarcophagus. In order for the lid to have a good fit thin edges have been carved out on the body of the sarcophagus, also.

On the left side of the chamber there is another sarcophagus built out of limestone, with 12 cm. thick walls. The inner dimensions of this sarcophagus are: 2.40 m. long , 0.70 m. wide, and 1.10 m. deep. This sarcophagus does not have a lid. Its inside and upper sides have been covered by a thin white plaster in imitation of marble. It is interesting that neither finds nor any remains of bones have been discovered inside the sarcophagi. It is highly likely that the burial chamber collapsed before it was used.

Even though the quality of the volcanic stone used in building the burial chamber is bad the masonry is pretty good. The walls had been painted white in large panels after they had been covered by plaster which is a mixture of thin sand and gypsum. This created an effect of marble coating on the walls.

Trenches that have been dug in intervals at the West and South feet of the tumulus revealed that a 1 m. high protective wall composed of rubble stones and mortar surrounded the tumulus.

In the construction of the walls larger stones were used both on the inside and also on the outside, the gap in between was filled with smaller stones. The thickness of the walls are not the same all over, they vary from 60 to 90 cm.

The walls built to prevent landslide show sloppy workmanship. In the North East of the burial chamber a banquet area and a sarcophagus have been discovered. Coins and sherds found in the tumulus date the burial chamber and the banquet area back to the 6 th century B.C.

Resim 51: Çataltepe Tümülüsünde ortaya çıkan tonozlu mezar odası.