Culture

Turkey: Eye cream jar found in historical tomb

Archeologists spot eye cream jar in 2,200-year-old tomb in west Turkey

05.09.2018
Turkey: Eye cream jar found in historical tomb

KUTAHYA, Turkey 

Turkish archeologists have found an eye cream jar in a 2,200-year-old tomb during their excavation works in an antique city of Aizanoi in country's west.

Located in western Turkish province of Kutahya, the Aizanoi ancient city was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List in 2012. The ancient city is also hosting the Temple of Zeus, the main sanctuary of Aizanoi.

Chief of the excavation works in Aizanoi, Prof. Dr. Elif Ozer told Anadolu Agency on Wednesday that they had important findings about funerary practices during their works in the ancient city's "Necropolis" (cemetery).

Ozer said that they were digging the ancient city to find out the funerary practice of people living in Aizanoi during ancient times.

"We understood that people living in the second and first century Before Christ in Aizanoi were buried after getting cremated. These tombs are nearly 2,200 years old.", she said.

Ozer stated that they found an eye cream jar named 'lykion' in a tomb. The eye cream was used for "Xerophthalmia" (eye dryness).

"We know this jar was used for keeping eye cream in Ancient Rome era,” she said, adding that the raw plant which was used for therapeutic purpose for eye dryness until the end of 18th century could be found in Lycia -- in southern coast of Turkey -- and India.

“When we read the texts of the writers from the ancient times, we can determine that this jar was used by soldiers," Ozer said.

"Ancient sources say that Roman soldiers in Egypt used eye cream for eye dryness. We found this jar in a male's tomb believed to be a soldier,” she added.

According to a belief in the ancient times, life continues after death, Ozer said and added that perhaps the relatives of this deceased put this jar into his grave considering he might need it after death.

She said the jar is now displayed in Kutahya Archaeology Museum.

A total of 55 people, including archaeology students, academics and workers are contributing in the excavation works, she added.

Reporting by Muharrem Cin:Writing by Can Erozden

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