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Writer: Yavuz İşçen
August 2009

During Cappadocia Kingdom period (BC 332- AC 17) Venessa (Avanos), together with Kayseri and Kemerhisar was one of the important centers. After Cappadocia Kingdom becoming one of the sites of Roman Empire, Venessa kept its importance for a certain period. During that period Göreme was being used as a necropolis (graveyard) of city of Venessa. The graves of Göreme date to this period and have 3-4 centuries history.

Tomb Architecture in Cappadocia
The examples of the Roman period monumental tombs in Cappadocia have the characteristics of either sarcophagus or cradle arched room graves and rock tombs. The most used architectural style of Roman period graves is rock tomb style. In order to construct a rock tomb first the grave room was prepared by carving the rock. The grave room was consisting one or more rooms. The area which the dead body would be placed was being created as a separate platform, the belongings and the cloths of the dead as well as food were being left closer to the dead body. The grave room was having only one entrance. This entrance was being closed with a rock in order to protect the grave. The external side of the rock tomb was being flattened and created a monumental image. Sometimes by using triangle shape pediments and columns the temple image was being created. As an external decoration of rock tombs occasionally embossed relieves were being used.

Roman Rock Tombs in Göreme
The 5 of the rock tombs that we are going to talk about here can be seen at the center of Göreme. All of them are the tombs, carved into the rock cones and have the temple image with the columns in front lines.
Roman Grave (Back side of terminal): It can be seen at the back side of terminal at the center of Göreme. The grave room, constructed into a rock cone, has a monumental image from the outside with square shape pediment and two columns in the middle. Today the bottom side of the grave came to grief and the columns are broken. The grave which is being lighted during the night is kind of symbol for Göreme. 
Roman Grave (Inside Paradise Cave Hotel): Today the grave remained in the Paradise Cave Hotel and has been constructed with two columns. One of the columns is broken. In the past, the grave room could be reached by using the stairs next to the broken column. Today the grave room can be reached through the terrace of the Hotel. 
Roman Grave (By Kelebek Hotel): If you follow the acclivity without turning to the Hotel you can reach until the bottom of the Roman grave. This grave, whose interspaces have been closed by cobbling, has the same characteristics of the others. In the past with the help of the stairs in front, the grave room could be reached. Today it is hard to tell that the stairs are functional.
Roman Grave (Back side of Municipality Building): The grave remained in the middle of a field at the back streets therefore it does not take attention that much but it has a different style than the others with its image of triple arched divided by two columns. Two of the columns are still alive but one of them is almost broken from the bottom side because of natural corrosion. Since the grave room roughly is being used as storage, the entrance is being closed by a door. 
Roman Grave (Inside Cappadocia Cave Suites): Today the rock grave became one of the rooms of Cappadocia Cave Suits and it takes attention with its distinctive triangle shape pediment and two columns. One of the columns is broken. During the reformation into a hotel room, the interspaces between the columns are closed by putting up a wall. Two windows were situated on this wall. In front of the windows a wooden balcony style platform was located.

Note: Many thanks to Atıl Ulaş Cüce from Middle Earth Travel.

Note: This article has been published in Peribacası Cappadocia Culture and Publicity Magazine, August 2009 issue. It is under protection of the copyrights of the magazine. No part of this article may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by electronic, mechanical or other means without prior permission from the owner. www.cappadociaexplorer.com

Reading Reading: 4065 Eklenme Tarihi Date: 2010-01-06

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