An ancient sarcophagus cover inscribed with a prayer to the dead has been discovered by construction workers in northern Turkey. Historians believe the artifact dates back more than 1,400 years, but there are very few clues as to who it belonged to.
Best known for their use in the ancient burial rituals of Egypt, Rome, and Greece, sarcophagi are a type of coffin whose decoration often reflected of the status of the person within. Perhaps the most famous sarcophagus is that of the ‘boy king,’ the Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun, whose burial case consisted of four layers, one made from solid gold.
A much more rudimentary design in the form a stone sarcophagus cover has now been discovered in the northern Turkish province of Gümüşhane.
According to the Anadolu Agency, the artifact was found on Friday during electricity network repairs in the village of Sadak. The area is listed on the Ministry of Culture and Tourism website as a place of historical significance.
At two meters in length, the stone structure gives very little away in terms of who it belongs to.
An inscription in Greek lettering on the front blesses a person named Kandes. Local reports suggest the manner in which the coffin casing was found will be investigated, as damage was done during its excavation.
Gamze Demir, director of the Gümüşhane museum, said digging in the area is prohibited without the knowledge and say so of the museum, reports Haberler. RT.com has contacted the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism for further comment on the discovery.