An ancient marble sarcophagus was found buried in the soil of a field in central Turkey's Nevşehir province, officials said Wednesday – the second ever sarcophagus to be found in the Cappadocia region.
The Roman-era sarcophagus, found in the village of Alemli in the Gülşehir district, was extracted by teams from the Gülşehir Municipality and Museum Directorate after two hours of study.
Experts estimate the sarcophagus is 2,200 years old. Its marble lid was broken many years ago, at which time, any contents which may have been inside could have been stolen, authorities said.
The sarcophagus was taken to the Nevşehir Museum Directorate for examination.
The sarcophagus was only the second marble sarcophagus to be found in the Cappadocia region, one of Turkey's most important tourism centers. The first marble sarcophagus was found in the region in 1991.
Cappadocia is an official UNESCO World Heritage site, famed for its unique "fairy chimney" volcanic cones, valleys, underground cities, boutique hotels, carved stone dwellings, and churches and shelters used by early Christians. The region bears traces of the history of the Hittites, Phrygians, Persians, Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks and Ottomans.
Over 2 million Turkish and foreign tourists visit Cappadocia each year, thousands of whom opt for a birds-eye view of the unique region with an iconic sunrise hot air balloon ride.