Excavations have uncovered more than one thousand burials. Many were made after the fall of the city and date from the Middle Assyrian period. They contained exceptional items, including fine jewellery.
The first tombs
From the early years of the city, some Mariotes were buried beneath their houses. Remarkable constructed mud-brick tombs have been excavated at the earliest levels. They contained ceramic ware, but also objects in copper, lapis lazuli, carnelian and gold. The oldest levels of City I contained impressive corbel vault stone tombs with an abundance of grave goods.
Little is known about the tombs of City II. Most were probably ground or jar burials. The burial places of the kings of Mari City II are unknown.
Tombs of City III
Most tombs excavated by archaeologists date from City III. A wide variety of burial types have been found for this period, including sarcophagi, jar burials, and constructed tombs. Multiple burials often contain several generations. The anthropological study of these family vaults has revealed various characteristics. They contain a large number of grave goods.
One of the most impressive tombs is that of a woman who, judging from her many jewels, most probably held a dominant position in shakkanakku society</a>. Two royal vaults, built of kiln-fired bricks with corbelled vaults, unfortunately looted, were found under the Small Eastern Palace.