Ancient Roman statues of heads of Aphrodite and Dionysus found in Turkey

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Archaeologists recently uncovered heads of Roman-era statues of Aphrodite and Dionysus in Turkey, Live Science reported.

According to the media outlet, the exciting discovery was made during an excavation in the ancient city of Aizanoi, a city that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has called ” one of the most important cities of the Roman period. “

The city, which is currently listed as a “provisional” World Heritage site, is home to “one of the best-preserved temples of Zeus in the world”, as well as the ruins of Roman baths and a covered market known as Macellum, UNESCO continued. Now the city is home to Aphrodite and Dionysus; that is, their versions carved in stone.

Live Science said the headless bodies of the statues were found in a previous search.

Gokhan Coskun, archaeologist and excavation coordinator, told Anadolu agency that the statues are an important cultural find.

“These are important findings for us because they show that the polytheistic culture of ancient Greece existed for a long time without losing its importance in Roman times,” Coskun told the agency. “The results suggest that there may have been a carving workshop in the area.”

Both heads are made of limestone, Live Science reported. Aphrodite’s head is 19 inches high, while Dionysus’s head is 17 inches high. In a conversation with the French news site Geo, the archaeologists remarked that they were moved by the “astonishing beauty” of the heads.

According to Greek mythology, Aphrodite is the goddess of love and beauty, and Dionysus was the god of wine and ecstasy, Britannica said. In Roman mythology, the gods were known as Venus and Bacchus, respectively. Live Science said the two gods “had a great love affair.”

Aphrodite, or Venus, was especially important to ancient Rome. The goddess of love symbolized “the imperial power of Rome,” according to the J. Paul Getty Museum.

“The first temples of Venus were erected in Rome in the 200 BC years to enlist her aid in battles, and individual rulers subsequently allied themselves with the deity,” the museum said. “Julius Caesar and his heir, Augustus, forged particularly explicit links with Venus, claiming to be his son, the Trojan hero Aeneas. “

The limestone heads of Dionysus and Aphrodite aren’t the only exciting archaeological finds making headlines this year. In August, the partially mummified skeleton of a former slave was found in Pompeii. The skeleton has been referred to by scientists as one of the “best-preserved skeletons” ever found in the ancient city.

Also in August, an ancient Roman “fast food” restaurant discovered in Pompeii in 2019 opened to the public.

“These are important findings for us because they show that the polytheistic culture of ancient Greece existed for a long time without losing its importance in Roman times,” said excavation coordinator Gokhan Coskun. Image of Bacchus.
StockPhotoAstur / istock


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