A completely preserved man statue and Greek gods’ heads found in Turkey

“This statue is almost the only intact statue we have found so far."
Nergis Firtina
Aizanoi ancient city.
Aizanoi ancient city.

Anadolu Agency/Getty Images  

Greek gods Heracles, Eros, and Dionysus' heads have been found in the ancient city of Aizanoi in Turkey's Kütahya province. Additionally, an unknown man statue has also been unearthed.

Excavations in the Aizanoi are being carried out by Kütahya Dumlupınar University (DPU) Faculty of Arts and Sciences Archeology Department with 80 people and 20 technical personnel in Penkalas River, agora and theater sections, Hürriyet Daily News reported.

The excavations were intensified in Penkalas River, which is thought to be a metropolis, including the amphitheater, stadium, agora (city center), and Zeus Temple dating back to 3000 BC.

“This year, we found surprising finds that made us very excited during our work in the area where the bridge is located. Since the previous season, we have been finding many large and small pieces of marble sculptures in this area, some of which, if complete, would reach 3 to 3.5 meters in height. This season, we uncovered many blocks of bridge No: 3. Also, we found a sundial and many marble statue pieces," said Prof. Dr. Gökhan Coşkun, the excavation director.

"In the excavation season of 2022, we unearthed many blocks belonging to the bridge with the works we carried out in the wreckage of bridge No. 3. During these works, we did not come across only the pieces of the bridge, we also came across a sundial and many pieces of marble statues.”

A completely preserved man statue and Greek gods’ heads found in Turkey
Temple of Zeus.

The only wholly preserved statue

Prof. Coşkun emphasized that the statue they found in the recent excavation was the only wholly preserved statue.

"This statue is almost the only intact statue we have found so far. It is a statue of a man with a height of 2 meters and 10 centimeters, missing only half of its pedestal and one foot. Other parts are completely preserved. I hope that we will find this missing piece in 2023,” he said.

“Among these is a Dionysus head with a height of approximately 40 centimeters. We also found a Herakles head. In 2020, we found the body of a Herakles statue. But this head does not belong to this body. Apart from this, there are also statue heads of various gods and goddesses of the Ancient Greek pantheon. One of the prominent examples is the Eros head, which is about 20 centimeters high. The artifacts we found in this area are from different periods, but we can say that the statue pieces date back 1,800-2,000 years ago," he added.

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Aizonoi ancient city

The ancient city of Aizanoi is situated inside the confines of the Çavdarhisar district, 48 km southwest of the Kütahya Province, in the interior of Western Anatolia. Today, it is located on the flat, treeless plateau known as the Rencik Plain, between 1,000 and 1,050 meters above sea level. The city was situated on the banks of the River Rhyndakos, some 40 kilometers southwest of the Cotiaeum, 25 kilometers northeast of Cadi, and 40 kilometers northwest of Appia.

As per UNESCO, the city was rediscovered by European travelers in 1824, and between 1830 and 1840, it was surveyed and recognized. The German Archeological Institute's D. Krencker and M. Schede began the scientific excavations within Aizanoi in 1926, and Pamukkale University is currently managing the excavation operation.