Death in times of transition: Christianity and body treatment in Seleuceia Sidera


The proposed research aims to study the transition from Pagan to Christian traditions in Pisidia in Turkey. Central is the analysis of funerary evidence, as an important place for expressions of socio-cultural values. Currently, we know little about funerary traditions in the research area due to the fragmentary nature of the available data and lack of systematic registration. In particular, questions about changes in body treatment, how the corpse was prepared and buried, remain unanswered. The objective of this project is to carry out the excavation of two tombs in the necropolis of Seleuceia Sidera, an important ancient site in Pisidia. Preliminary research suggests that this cemetery was used over a long time-span, encompassing the period of growing influence of Christian beliefs (2nd-6th c. AD). We will focus on changes in the burial ritual and body-treatment, by concentrating on the human remains and their placement in the grave. A second objective is to encourage the exchange of data and knowledge. Our results will be added to a database that enables comparative research and presented to a wider public. We will also train local students in the excavation and study of human remains. Ultimately, the aim is to protect and safely store the vulnerable data, both physically and digitally.





Dr. L. de Jong

Verbonden aan

Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, Faculteit der Letteren, Groninger Instituut voor Archeologie


01/03/2020 tot 31/01/2020