2,100 year old statue of Cybele unearthed in northwestern Turkey

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A 2,100-year-old marble statue of Cybele, an ancient Phrygian mother goddess, has been unearthed in excavations in northwestern Turkish province of Ordu [Greek Kotyora] located on the Black Sea coast.

2,100 year old statue of Cybele unearthed in northwestern Turkey
The sculpture dates to the time of Mithridates, king of Pontus and Armenia Minor in northern Anatolia
from 120 to 63 BC [Credit: DHA]

The sculpture of Cybele sitting on her throne weighs a whopping 200 kilograms and is about 110 centimeters tall.

The statue is also the first marble statue found in Turkey in its original place.

The sculpture was unearthed in excavations launched by a team of 25 archaeologists led by the head of the Department of Archaeology in Gazi University, Prof. Dr. Süleyman Yücel Şenyurt, in the 2,300-year-old Kurul Kalesi, or the Council Fortress.

“We are continuing our work non-stop. Two days ago we found an extraordinary artefact. According to our research, the statue remained intact after the walls of the entrance of the fortress of Kurul collapsed during an invasion by Roman soldiers. This statue has also shown us that the fortress of Kurul in Ordu was a very important settlement [in ancient times],” Prof. Şenyurt said.

2,100 year old statue of Cybele unearthed in northwestern Turkey
The sculpture is 110 cm tall and weighs some 200 kilos [Credit: DHA]

Saying that it was an incredibly rare find, the professor said that they were proud to unearth such an artefact in Turkey. He also said that the priceless statue would be later on transferred to the archaeology museum in Ordu.

The professor also said that the first attempts to conduct excavations in the area were made ​​about 6 years ago, but had been postponed for various reasons.

Meanwhile, Mayor Enver Yılmaz also pledged to provide funds to all excavations in the fortress of Kurul. He also said that the fortress will be turned into an open air museum in the near future and hopes the excavations will contribute to tourism in the region as well as in Turkey.

The excavations in the fortress are also the first archaeological diggings on the eastern coast of the Black Sea.

Cybele, an Anatolian mother goddess, is the symbol of prosperity with her pregnant belly, seated on her throne. In Anatolian mythology she was the personification of the earth. In Greek mythology she was equated to Earth-goddess Gaia, and was mostly associated with fertile nature, mountains, town and city walls, as well as wild animals such as lions.

Source: Daily Sabah [September 09, 2016]

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