A nearly 2,000-year-old statue including the incredibly well-preserved head of the Roman Emperor Hadrian was unearthed by archaeologists in an ancient Turkish city who believe the statue was built just before his visit to the city in 120 AD.
The ancient relic was discovered by archaeologists at an excavation site in the ancient city of Alabanda in southwestern Turkey in the country’s Aydin province known during antiquity as Caria last Friday (10th September).
Ali Yalcin Tavukcu, a lecturer in the Department of Classical Archaeology at Ataturk University, told the local news site Hurriyet Dialy News that the statute is estimated to be 1,900 years old and was probably made for Hadrian’s visit to the city in 120 AD.
He added that the statue is estimated to measure 2.5 metres (8.2 feet) and was found in six separate pieces.
The researchers are now examining it for any inscriptions that could reveal more about the artefact.
Hadrian ruled the Roman Empire for over 20 years between 117 and 138 AD and was known to make long trips travelling to all corners of his domain.
The region where the statue was found was ruled by the Romans and later their successors, the Byzantines, for an estimated 1,400 years.
Umut Tuncer, the culture and tourism director for Aydin, said that he hopes this discovery will draw more tourists to the region.
He told Hurriyet Dialy News: “There are very few examples like this statue in the world. We are very happy to have found it here.”
He added: ” This will be one of the important artefacts in the museum. Hadrian was one of the Roman emperors who visited the country the most.”
Umut believes that there is an inscription of honour that was probably buried next to the statue although more research will need to be carried out to confirm this.
The state is expected to undergo restoration and further research before being put on display at the Aydin Archeology Museum.
To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Peter Barker, Sub-Editor: James King, Agency: Newsflash
The Ananova page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.