Marble blocks carved with theatrical masks unearthed in ancient city of Stratonikeia

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Archaeologists discovered 2,200-year-old masks in the ancient city of Stratonikeia located in the Yatagan district of Turkey’s southern Mugla province.

Marble blocks carved with theatrical masks unearthed in ancient city of Stratonikeia
Credit: Antik Sirlar

Some 17 masks engraved on marble blocks were unearthed during excavations near the stage in the ancient theatre in the ancient Greek city of Stratonikeia located in southern Turkey.




Professor Bilal Sogut from Pamukkale University, who heads the excavations, said that the carved blocks have been removed for cleaning and preservation works.

Marble blocks carved with theatrical masks unearthed in ancient city of Stratonikeia
Marble blocks carved with theatrical masks unearthed in ancient city of Stratonikeia
Marble blocks carved with theatrical masks unearthed in ancient city of Stratonikeia
Marble blocks carved with theatrical masks unearthed in ancient city of Stratonikeia
Marble blocks carved with theatrical masks unearthed in ancient city of Stratonikeia
Credit: Antik Sirlar



“We found reliefs during the excavations in the stage building of the theatre”, the professor said. “The most important group of these reliefs are the masks. We had found 16 masks here before and another 17 masks during the current excavations.

Marble blocks carved with theatrical masks unearthed in ancient city of Stratonikeia
Marble blocks carved with theatrical masks unearthed in ancient city of Stratonikeia
Marble blocks carved with theatrical masks unearthed in ancient city of Stratonikeia
Marble blocks carved with theatrical masks unearthed in ancient city of Stratonikeia
Credit: Antik Sirlar



Marble blocks carved with theatrical masks unearthed in ancient city of Stratonikeia
Marble blocks carved with theatrical masks unearthed in ancient city of Stratonikeia
Marble blocks carved with theatrical masks unearthed in ancient city of Stratonikeia
Marble blocks carved with theatrical masks unearthed in ancient city of Stratonikeia
Credit: Antik Sirlar



“This is a happy development for us,” he said, adding that the masks they discovered include depictions of gods and goddesses from the Graeco-Roman pantheon. Sogut noted that the masks will be displayed to visitors at the site after all work has been finished.

Marble blocks carved with theatrical masks unearthed in ancient city of Stratonikeia
Marble blocks carved with theatrical masks unearthed in ancient city of Stratonikeia
Marble blocks carved with theatrical masks unearthed in ancient city of Stratonikeia
Marble blocks carved with theatrical masks unearthed in ancient city of Stratonikeia
Marble blocks carved with theatrical masks unearthed in ancient city of Stratonikeia
Credit: Antik Sirlar

The 3,000-year-old ancient city of Stratonikeia, located just seven kilometres west of Mugla’s Yatagan district, was situated at the crossroads of main routes that connected western, central and southern Anatolia, which were inhabited continuously from the Late Bronze Age to the present day, and hence was a very strategic city.

Excavations in Stratonikeia, also known as the “city of gladiators,” first began in 1977 under the leadership of Professor Yusuf Boysal, and more remnants belonging to Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine eras have been unearthed since.

Stratonikeia was registered on UNESCO’s Tentative World Heritage List in 2015.

Source: Daily Sabah [September 12, 2019]