Necropolis Excavations

During September 2012 and in collaboration with the Miletus Museum excavations were carried out at the area identified as a likely necropolis for the ancient harbour of Didyma, ‘Panormos’.

‘Grave 4’, with miniature vessels

A number of provisional but important observations can be made about this Panormos. There appears to have been no uniform funerary tradition: uncovered were both inhumations and cremations, either directly in the ground or in vessels (especially pithoi, amphorae and hydriai). On occasion one or more miniature vessels accompanied the grave. Low quality wares such as ‘cooking pots’ were also common occurances.

A provisional study of the ceramics indicates a period of occupancy from the middle of the 7th until the late 6th century BC. In addition to locally produced vessels, there are many imports from Etruria, Corinth, Athens, as well as Egypt and Cyprus.

Planned anthropological and isotope analysis should reveal details about the (geographical) origin of the dead, their age, gender and health status. These data regarding the composition of the buried population will be particularly interesting given the context of the necropolis, namely in the immediate vicinity of a port which served the internationally famed and frequented oracle sanctuary at Didyma, and the diverse sources of ceramic material so far processed.


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( A. Slawisch • 11 Nov 2017)
A. Slawisch, 2017. Project Panormos: Necropolis Excavations; 11 Nov 2017. <> accessed 17 Mar 2018.