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Saturday, March 25, 2023

First whole statue discovered during the excavations of the ancient city of Aizanoi, Central Turkey

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During the ongoing winter excavations at the ancient city of Aizanoi in Kutahya (Western Anatolia Region), archaeologists have come across some exciting artifacts.

Excavations are being carried out at the Penkalas stream, the agora and the theatre, by the Faculty of Archeology of the University of Kutahya Dumlupinar with 80 workers and 20 technical staff.

The ancient city, which dates back to 3000 BC. and is considered one of the metropolises of the period with its historical structures such as the theater, stadium, agora and temple of Zeus. Most sites are concentrated on the Penkalas Stream.

Archaeologists in the latest excavations last week discovered the 210 cm tall male statue, heads of statues of Eros, known as the god of love in Greek mythology, Dionysus – the god of wine, and the demigod Heracles.

Excavation leader Prof. Dr. Gökhan Joshkun noted that the restoration of Marble Bridge No. 2 from the Roman period has been completed. Now work continues on Bridge No. 3, which was completely destroyed by an earthquake.

Joshkun shared, “We continue to encounter surprising finds every day. This makes our work even more exciting. Last season in this area we found a large number of various marble sculptures, some of which were of majestic dimensions of 3-3.5 meters in height. During the excavations this year, we uncovered many stone blocks belonging to Bridge No. 3. During these works, we did not only come across pieces of the bridge. We also came across a sundial and many pieces of marble statues,” he added.

Joshkun admitted that the entire team was very excited about the statue they found in the latest excavations. “This statue is the only complete statue we have found so far. It is a statue of a man and is 2 meters and 10 cm high, with only half of the pedestal and one leg missing. The other parts are completely preserved.”

He said they hope to find the missing part of the statue in surveys to be carried out next year.

  “This month we also found the head of Dionysus, approximately 40 cm high, the head of Heracles. In 2020, we found part of a statue, the Torst of Heracles.

When we found the head of Heracles this season, we were excited and wondered if it was the head to the body of the statue we found last season, but it didn’t fit. Therefore, we now have two different statues of Herakles and we continue to search for their remaining parts,” Joshkun added.

“We also found heads of statues belonging to various gods and goddesses of the ancient Greek pantheon. One prominent example is the head of Eros. It is about 20 centimeters tall. The artifacts we found in this area are actually finds from different periods, but generally they are at least 1800-2000 years old.

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