Excavation in Western Turkey Reveals 2,000-Year-Old Sculpture
Hurriyet Daily News reports that a fragment of a sculpture depicting the head of a priest has been unearthed in the large ancient city of Laodicea, which is located in western Turkey.
Laodicea on the Lycus, situated in the western province of Denizli, was an ancient metropolis and an obscure archaeological site prior to 2003. The city came to light only after the excavation activities that were started by the Denizli Museum.
A team of Turkish archaeologists headed by Pamukkale University’s Professor Celal Şimşek has been working in Laodicea continuously.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Şimşek said that they have unearthed an exciting artefact in the 15,000-seat western theatre of the 7,500-year-old city.
Noting that they are trying to restore the theatre by preserving it precisely, Şimşek said that they found a priest statue, which was believed to be around 2,000 years old, during the excavation works.
“There was an eight-meter embankment next to the fortification wall extending west from the stage building of the theatre and was built at the beginning of the fifth century.
We encountered a stunning statue of a priest during the removal of the filling, which was the waste of buildings destroyed by earthquakes,” Şimşek noted.
“It is among the most beautiful finds of the year 2020 in terms of its age, profession, and especially being a very vibrant portrait, which we can date to the late Hellenistic early empire period,” he added.
Ancient sources say that the city was founded in honour of Laodice, the wife of Seleucid King Antiochus II Theos, in the third century B.C. However, excavations revealed that the history of Laodicea dates back to 5,500 B.C.
The city had its golden period between the first and third centuries A.D and according to the calculations, the city’s population was around 80,000 during that period.
Considering that the ancient cities of Hierapolis and Tripolis had populations of around 40,000, Laodicea can be called a metropolis.