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Kıyıköy Necropolis, Kıyıköy Şarapçı Yolu Kaya Oyma Mezarı



View of the chapel from the southern entrance

There must have been a holy precinct extending west from the city of Midye (now Kıyıköy) in the 6th century. 500 metres east of the Çalışkan Farm cave church and a kilometer west of the Aya Nikola Monastery lies a field of roughly carved rock graves – a necropolis. In the centre of these is what may have been the funerary chapel(41.629434875276, 28.068034333229) . 


This view of the niche in the northern wall shows the marks of treasure hunters’ tools

It is a small structure, accessed by an opening to the south and about three  metres along its main east-west axis. It is about 1.5 metres high, not enough height to allow standing room. It is probable that this was an intricate grave rather than a chapel, but the carved fixtures do not seem to allow sufficient space for a body or bodies to have been placed within.


Evidence that metal fittings were once held in place above the entrance

For a while, this structure was augmented by a concrete slab roof, enabling it to be used for farm storage. The concrete is now gone. There is evidence that treasure-hunters have tried their luck here but realized fairly quickly that once they started digging into bedrock, their chances of finding treasure were zero.


One of the areas of graves to the west of the chapel

The rock face, only about 30m from the main Kıyıköy – Vize road, is honeycombed with graves. These are all eroded as one would expect from a thousand years of limestone weathering.


A pyramid orchid from the necropolis area

The coastal heathland around the necropolis is home to some interesting seasonal flowers. In early summer, the pyramid orchids are in flower.


Civelek, E. (2016) Kıyıköy Şarapçı Yolu Kaya Oyma Mezarı. Kırklareli Kültür Varlıkları Envanteri. available online at: http://www.kirklarelienvanteri.gov.tr/anitlar.php?id=88 Accessed 5th February, 2019

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