The Gordion Furniture Project

By: Krysia Spirydowicz, Associate Professor, Art Conservation Program, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, CANADA and Senior Conservator, Gordion Furniture Project, Ankara, TURKEY

Figure 1. Inlaid Table from Tumulus MM (E. Simpson, Gordion Furniture Project)

The ancient Phrygian capital of Gordion in central Anatolia was first explored in the early 1950s by a team from the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Located approximately 100 km southwest of Ankara, this impressive site consists of a flat city mound with occupation levels dating from the Early Bronze Age to Hellenistic times and nearby clusters of burial mounds or tumuli. Rodney Young, the first director of excavations, explored three of the largest tumuli (Tumulus MM, P and W) as well as sections of the City Mound.  Over 40 pieces of ornate, inlaid furniture dating to the eighth century BC were discovered in wooden burial chambers located deep inside the large earthen mounds. Continue reading