Turkey: Execution dungeons and torture chambers discovered in excavations

Restoration of the Bursa city walls has been ongoing since the Bursa Municipality implemented a project to reveal the centuries old infrastructure. (Photo courtesy: Shutterstock

Following thorough excavations in the Turkish northwestern province of Bursa, archeologists have come across 2,300-year-old dungeons used for execution and torturing purposes during the Bithynia kingdom era.

The execution methods revealed to be horrific, as archeologists discovered that the dungeons contain a “bloody well,” and a “torture chamber.”

“Hangmen, who were deaf and mute, cut off the heads of prisoners here in the bloody well. While the head of the body was falling into the well, the body part was given to their relatives or left to the stream,” the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News quoted Ibrahim Yilmaz, a member of Uludag University Faculty of Science and Literature History of Art Department, as saying.

Restoration of the Bursa city walls has been ongoing since the Bursa Municipality implemented a project to reveal the centuries old infrastructure.

“There are also rumors that hangmen were selling dead bodies to families for a price. We discovered all of these things, proposed a project and it was approved. We will start construction here in the coming days,” Yilmaz explained.

Yilmaz, who is also part of the excavation team, said a large portion of the 3,400-meter-long walls as well as other locations surrounding those walls have already been revealed.

Dungeons were also discovered in the last part of the walls, specifically in the Zindan Kapi in Alacahirka neighborhood, Yilmaz said.

“Over these dungeons were houses were people were living. Considering that there were dungeons or dungeon remains might be there, we expropriated these buildings. After the houses were demolished, scientific excavations revealed remains of Bursa dungeons,” he added.

He also revealed that all spatial features of dungeons in the era of the Bythynia Kingdom could be seen in those dungeons. He said the Bursa dungeons were the underground structures named “stucco” and were connected to towers.

Yilmaz also said the dungeons will finally come to light after 2,300 years as they will be displayed in an open-air museum.

“Torture tools used in the past and places used for torturing will be displayed. We plan to display their mockups in two years,” Yilmaz said.