A 4,200-year-old goddess statue from the Early Bronze Age has been found in an archaeological site in central Turkey where digs have been carried out for over 70 years.
Prof. Dr. Fikri Kulakoglu said that the goddess statue they unearthed at the Kultepe archaeological site in the central Turkish province of Kayseri is the largest sculpture found in Turkey from the Early Bronze Age period.
The scientist added that they found around 20 new artefacts at the site, currently on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List.
Professor Kulakoglu said: “Everything in that chamber was very important. We also found the largest statue of the Early Bronze Age in Turkey so far.
“We were so happy to find the 45-centimetre tall goddess statue, it is a very special piece.”
He said that the damaged statue probably had an object in the goddess’ hand which could have been an animal, based on previously-found examples from the same period.
Professor Kulakoglu said: “During worship, they placed offerings in the temple’s sacred chamber in honour of the gods. The sculpture we found is actually quite delicate, consisting of gypsum (a soft sulphate mineral).
“It is sensitive to water and moisture of any kind. We will carefully clean it up here before exhibiting it in the museum.”
“We believe these works are of goddesses from local ancient literature. This statue is around 4,200 years old.
“During the time of the Hittites, such figures usually had a horned helmet on their head. All the statues, statuettes and idols found in Kultepe are of women. We have never found any of men.
“The statues are always naked, sometimes with a decorative throne. They also have braids flowing down the back of their heads.”
Professor Kulakoglu said: “We have never found a larger statue from the period than this one. That is why it’s a special piece for us, so unique. It is one of the rarest religious works showing beliefs specific to Kultepe.”
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