Archaeologists find 1,900-year-old tomb of woman doctor in Turkey

Archaeologists have discovered a tomb of a female doctor in Turkey’s northwestern province of Çanakkale, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Vedat Keleş, the chairman of the archaeological excavation committee for the antique city of Parion, said the tomb belonged to a woman physician and dated from the first century AD.

“The discovery is some of the most important archaeological evidence showing us that there were women doctors 1,900 years ago,” Keleş told Anadolu.

The remains of Parion, a 2,700-year-old city, are situated near the town of Biga in Çanakkale province. Ancient sources say a tribe used venom from snakes found near Parion to produce medicine during the Roman period.

“We found a marble block that has a motif belonging to Hygiea, the ancient Greek goddess of health, cleanliness, and sanitation, over the entrance door of a hamam. When the tomb and the motif are considered together, we can argue that there was a developed health sector in Parion,” Anadolu quoted Keleş as saying.

Archaeologists this year have also uncovered a Roman eagle, the famous banner borne by legionaries, in digs around Parion, he said.

“It is clear from ancient sources that this was a legionary colony ... The uncovered remnant of the eagle proves that these sources are correct, which is extremely important for us,” Keleş told Anadolu.  

“Parion was an ancient legion colony in which retired members of the Roman military were deployed on purpose. A colony means money and power. We can clearly see this from the architectural remnants unveiled in our excavations,” he said.