Archaeological News

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Posts tagged "aphrodite"

The head of an Aphrodite sculpture has been found during excavations at the Plutonium Inn in the ancient city of Hierapolis, according to the leader of the dig team. “We found a Dionysus sculpture. This sculpture has a body but no head; this is why the head of Aphrodite is very unique,” said the Italian head of the excavation team, Professor Francesco D’Andria. “It was made in the Hellenistic era; its face and hair show the Hellenistic style. It has holes for earrings.”

Previous discoveries at the city reveal that Hieropolis was visited as a holy place as early as 6 B.C.
Marble sculptures that were discovered during the recent excavations alongside the Aphrodite sculpture have been removed from the ancient city and are now being kept in the depot of the Hierapolis Archaeology Museum.

Archaeologists have been conducting excavations at the ancient city since 1957. (source)

A group of archaeologists has discovered a life-sized marble head of Aphrodite while uncovering an ancient pool-side mosaic in southern Turkey.

Buried under soil for hundreds of years, the goddess of love and beauty has some chipping on her nose and face. Researchers think her presence could shed light on the extent of the Roman Empire’s wide cultural influence at the time of its peak.

Archaeologists found the sculpture while working at a site called Antiochia ad Cragum (Antioch on the cliffs), on the Mediterranean coast. The researchers believe the region, which is dotted with hidden inlets and coves, would have been a haven for Cilician pirates — the same group who kidnapped Julius Caesar and held him for ransom around 75 B.C. Read more.

Tucked away behind metal construction fences lie some of the visible remains of an ancient temple.  Most of the ancient temple foundations are now hidden, overlaid by urban sprawl, and what fraction can still be seen is eclipsed and sandwiched in by buildings.  The unsuspecting pedestrian may never even notice it. It is shrouded in part by overhanging vegetation. It lies almost forgotten now within its modern context as the steady march of change and development has passed it by.

The Late Archaic period temple, 200 years older than the Parthenon, was originally built to honor the Greek godess of Aphrodite (Venus), the godess of love, in the 6th century B.C.  It was later moved during Roman times to another location, which was considered a sacred area where there was a concentration of temples and shrines. Read more.

Archaeological excavations in the southwestern city of Denizli, an area renowned for its proximity to nearby historical sites such as the mineral-coated hillside hot springs of Pamukkale and the ancient city ruins of Hierapolis and Laodicea on the Lycus, have struck gold with a series of important finds at two different sites made over the past few days.  

Excavations in the scenic rural district of Kale, where the castle of Tabae, believed to have been built by the followers of Alexander the Great, is located, happened upon two Roman-period sculptures believed to be of Aphrodite, while in a church in Laodicea 1,600-year-old mosaics were discovered, which are believed to symbolically depict God’s eyes, the Anatolia news agency reported on Tuesday.

Speaking at a press conference about the discovery of the Aphrodite sculptures, the director of the excavation board at Kale, Professor Bozkurt Ersoy, said the relics were found at an excavation around a Roman cistern at Tabae, where pieces of bronze and marble sculpture were previously discovered. Read more.

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) – One bit of information museums don’t often include on placards explaining the origins of ancient artifacts is how they were obtained.

But in a new book, “Chasing Aphrodite: The Hunt for Looted Antiquities at the World’s Richest Museum,” Los Angeles Times reporters Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino delved into this opaque world.

It is the culmination of a five-year investigation of the J. Paul Getty Museum. For more than 40 years, the Getty chased numerous beautiful, but looted antiquities, ultimately causing an international legal battle with Italy.

Felch spoke with Reuters about the book and a shadowy market in which a highly educated curator could find herself negotiating with obscure criminals in a Swiss bank vault. Read more.   (Buy book)

A statue of a cult deity that was once the subject of litigation between the Italian government and the J. Paul Getty Museum of Los Angeles was publicly unveiled on Tuesday in its new home in Aidone, Sicily.

The Getty bought the seven-foot-tall limestone and marble statue in 1988 for $18 million, giving rise to a two-decade-long legal battle after the Italian authorities determined it had been looted from Italy.

The museum agreed to return the statue, often identified as Aphrodite, as part of a 2007 accord with the Italian government for the restitution of 40 illegally excavated artifacts. The statue was finally shipped to Rome in March.

The cult deity has now been installed in what will likely be its permanent home, the archeological museum of Aidone, a hilltop town near the ruins of the ancient Greek colony of Morgantina, where some experts believe the statue was once located. Read more.