Heracles statue discovered in ancient Greek city of Aizanoi

A statue of Heracles has just been exhumed on Monday in the ancient Greek city of Aizanoi, in Asia Minor. Credit: Screenshot of the video

A magnificent statue of Heracles, the Greek demigod, has just been unearthed in the ancient Greek city of Aizanoi, according to archaeologists’ statements to the press on Monday.

The statue, unearthed on December 18, was found during excavations in the Penkalas stream in the ancient Greek city of Aizanoi, in what is now Çavdarhisar district of Turkey’s western Kütahya province.

Aizanoi, which is on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage sites, on Friday gave up a headless marble statue of the demigod known as “Heracles” in Greek mythology.

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Professor Gökhan CoÅŸkun, head of excavation at Aizanoi, told investigators Hurriyet that the statue is compatible with the “Hercules at rest” type of statue. He said: “Although the part of the head has not been preserved, we can easily understand that it is Heracles, from the lion’s skin. “

Heracles, known in the West as Hercules, was often depicted as wearing a lion’s skin after killing the Nemean lion, one of his great works.

Headless statue of Hercules discovered after heads of statues of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, and Dionysus, the god of wine, were unearthed just two months ago , in October.

The heads of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, and of Dionysus, the god of wine, “are important finds for us because they show that the polytheistic culture of ancient Greece existed for a long time without losing its importance in Roman times, ”excavation coordinator Gokhan Coskun told Anadolu agency.

“The results suggest that there may have been a carving workshop in the area,” Coskun said.

Noting that the bodies of the statues were found in a previous excavation, Coskun, an archaeologist at Dumlupinar University, said the heads were unearthed during recent excavations in a creek bed in the ancient city. from Aizanoi.

In August, a statue of the ancient Greek goddess Hygieia, the goddess of health and cleanliness, was also discovered in Aizanoi. As is often seen in statues unearthed in Turkey, the head of the statue is missing.

Coskun added, “During past excavations at Aizanoi, finds related to Hygieia were also found. This situation makes us think that there may have been constructions and buildings related to the cult of health in Aizanoi in Roman times.

Greek gods in the ancient city of Aizanoi

Aizanoi was an important political and economic center in Roman times; The surviving remains from this period include a well-preserved Temple of Zeus, an unusual combined theater-stadium complex, and a macellum bearing Diocletian’s award edict. The city fell into decline at the end of Antiquity.

The settlement of the region has been known since the Bronze Age. During the Hellenistic period, the city changed hands between the kingdom of Pergamon and the kingdom of Bithynia, before being bequeathed to Rome by the first in 133 BC. He continued to mint his own coins. Its monumental buildings date from the beginning of the Empire until the 3rd century.

The ancient Greek city of Aizanoi was first colonized around 3000 BC; its array of archaeological treasures includes a theater, a stadium, a temple dedicated to Zeus and an Agora, or market.

Coşkun, who is also the head of the archeology department at Dumlupınar University, told reporters that most of the jetty walls along the Penkalas River have now been dug up and they continue to find pieces of it. sculptures in the river bed.

CoÅŸkun explained, “Heracles is the son of the god Zeus and a mortal in ancient Greek culture. He was known as a demigod and after a while he became a god. Temples were built for him. His name was “Hercules” in Roman times.

“The Hercules at rest is a type used in many places in the ancient world. Today there are statues of Heracles of this type in various parts of the world, but we found this type of statue of Heracles for the first time in Aizanoi.

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