"As one of the largest necropoles in Anatolia..."

Juliopolis Ancient City Necropolis consists of necropolis areas located on both sides of Aladağ Stream.

Archaeological and anthropological studies on the graves have shown that this ancient cemetery started to be used chronologically from the Hellenistic period, as one of the largest necropoles in Anatolia. Its use was intensive in the Early Roman Imperial Period, and it continued until the end of the Late Antiquity.

Scientific examination of the archaeological artifacts and skeletal remains unearthed during the regular salvage excavations by the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations (AMM) in recent years is significant in the context of Anatolian Cultural History and World Cultural Heritage. From this standpoint, the Juliopolis Project primarily intends to continue research to deepen scientific research on the Ancient City and Necropolis by fulfilling the perspective and requirements of the contemporary scientific approach. It also targets the creation of a suitable base for the ongoing and designed studies.


In this context, Ali Metin Büyükkarakaya (Hacettepe University, HU) and Asuman Alpagut (AMM) initiated the Juliopolis Anthropological Research Project in collaboration with Koç University VEKAM in 2017. They aimed to obtain more information about the lifestyles, population structures, and physical conditions of ancient civilizations that lived in Ankara. As a project with a multidisciplinary infrastructure and a contemporary perspective, the research brought together many sciences and experts from various branches of biological anthropology, social anthropology, sub-disciplines of archaeology, geology, physics, chemistry, and communication.


One of the main purposes of this study is to carry out multidisciplinary bioarchaeological research on human remains found in the necropolis.

Examination of skeletal remains is carried out in Hacettepe University Human Behavioral Ecology and Archaeometry laboratory (IDEA lab). Paleodemographic and paleopathological investigations of the human remains unearthed from the East and West Necropolis areas of Juliopolis started within the scope of this research. Furthermore, there have been ongoing studies on the effects of various taphonomic conditions on the conservation status of these remains.

In addition, human remains from Juliopolis such as bones, teeth, and hair are examined in the context of ancient DNA to reveal their nutritional status.

On the other hand, an isotopic examination continues to determine genetic affinities between ancient human populations. In addition to these, there are other studies to answer various research questions by using several methods (Synchrotron Radiation, Computed Tomography, Photogrammetry) on these remains.

Geçmişin Yüzleri

Faces of the Past

As part of the Juliopolis Project, facial reconstruction workshops called “JULIOPOLIS: Faces of the Past” were held in 2018 and 2019 with the support of VEKAM and Fabio Cavalli from the University of Trieste. In these workshops, nearly 50 researchers from various disciplines learned the facial reconstruction techniques and their theoretical background. 

Since 2019, a Digital Archaeology Archive project of the ancient city has been implemented in cooperation with the Anatolian Civilizations Museum, Koç University VEKAM, and Hacettepe University IDEA lab. In this context, the archiving of the finds recovered from the necropoles of Juliopolis and the productions of the works carried out since 2017 has begun.

In general, the project mainly intended to strengthen the scientific quality of the studies on Juliopolis in all aspects and explain the information on the area to researchers, the public, and most importantly future generations in a way suitable for scientific research. 


The multi-dimensional project scope also included the studies such as surveying the area with remote sensing methods and locating the tombs within the framework of geographic information systems. In addition, social-anthropological studies with the residents of the region started, and meetings were held with the representatives of the region's notables and institutions/organizations for activities to raise awareness of cultural heritage. 

Unfortunately, as in most parts of Anatolia, illegal excavation activities are rampant in and around the Ancient City. It is vital to establish the necessary infrastructure both to produce realistic solutions to prevent these illegal activities and to prepare suitable conditions for the visits of domestic and foreign guests to the site. In this context, studies to create the Site Management Plan have started to inherit the archaeological site safely to future generations and carry out various public archaeology studies conveniently.