Classical scholars from the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” made an unusually large find of seals in an ancient sanctuary in Turkey. They discovered more than 600 stamp seals and cylinder seals at the sacred site of the storm and weather god Jupiter Dolichenus, 100 of which in the current year alone. “Such large amounts of seal consecrations are unheard-of in any comparable sanctuary”, said excavation director Prof. Dr. Engelbert Winter and archaeologist Dr. Michael Blömer at the end of the excavation season. In this respect, the finding of numerous pieces from the 7th to the 4th centuries B.C. close to the ancient city of Doliche is unparalleled.
"The amazingly large number proves how important seals and amulets were for the worshipping of the god to whom they were consecrated as votive offerings", according to Classical scholar Prof. Winter. Many pieces show scenes of adoration. Read more.
Archaeologists digging in Turkey have found the guardians of the “Gate to Hell” — two unique marble statues which once warned of a deadly cave in the ancient Phrygian city of Hierapolis, near Pamukkale.
Known as Pluto’s Gate — Ploutonion in Greek, Plutonium in Latin — the cave was celebrated as the portal to the underworld in Greco-Roman mythology and tradition. It was discovered in March by a team led by Francesco D’Andria, professor of classic archaeology at the University of Salento.
"The statues represent two mythological creatures," D’Andria told Discovery News. "One depicts a snake, a clear symbol of the underworld, the other shows Kerberos, or Cerberus, the three-headed watchdog of hell in the Greek mythology." Read more.
DENVER — A 9,000-year-old painting of an exploding volcano, the oldest ever found, can now be linked to a real-life eruption in Turkey.
The towering Hasan Dağ volcano erupted 8,970 years ago, plus or minus 640 years, according to a new dating technique that analyzes zircon crystals in volcanic rock, geochemist Axel Schmitt of the University of California, Los Angeles, reported here today (Oct. 30) at the Geological Society of America’s annual meeting.
Turkish scientists long suspected Hasan Dağ was the source of the painting’s dramatic scene, but never had a precise date for its volcanic rocks, Schmitt told LiveScience. The volcano is about 80 miles (130 kilometers) from the ancient village of Çatalhöyük, where the painting was discovered in 1964 during an archaeological dig. Read more.
SHAKEN, scorched and boiled in its own juices, this 4000-year-old human brain has been through a lot.
It may look like nothing more than a bit of burnt log, but it is one of the oldest brains ever found. Its discovery, and the story now being pieced together of its owner’s last hours, offers the tantalising prospect that archaeological remains could harbour more ancient brain specimens than thought. If that’s the case, it potentially opens the way to studying the health of the brain in prehistoric times.
Brain tissue is rich in enzymes that cause cells to break down rapidly after death, but this process can be halted if conditions are right. Read more.
Muğla’s ancient city of Iasos is effectively rising from the ashes of the Thera volcano thanks to new discoveries. Italian archaeologists, who have been working in the area for half a century, have found crucial data about the region’s history
Archaeologists working on Iasos on Turkey’s Aegean coast have recently discovered that the ancient city was buried under a mountain of ash caused by the explosion of Mt. Thera on Santorini 3,600 years ago.
Excavation works have also revealed a sewage system that was in place in the 4,000-year-old city and tunnels to the city’s theater.
Excavations are being carried out by the world-famous Italian archaeology team of Studi Delle Tuscia University. Read more.
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.
Construction in the southeastern province of Mardin’s Midyat district has unearthed ancient rock tombs that are believed to date from the pagan era between the third and second centuries B.C.
The tombs were discovered during construction works that were being conducted to enlarge a road heading to a tent city erected for Syrian refugees.
A total of four rock tombs were initially discovered, but subsequent excavation work at Mor İbraham Church and other venues revealed an additional 11 tombs, some with human skeletons. Read more.
Excavations carried out by a Japanese team in Batman’s ancient city of Hasankeyf have revealed painted graves from the Neolithic age 11,500 years ago. Human skeletons were found in the graves. Hasankeyf attracts 500,000 visitors from all around the world each year, yet part of Hasankeyf’s historical area will be flooded once the Ilısu Dam project starts.
The head of the Hasankeyf excavation team, Batman University Rector Abdüsselam Uluçam, said that a tender had been put out for the movement of Hasankeyf to a new place.
He added that Hasankeyf should move to its new place as soon as possible and it was out of question for the ancient city to be submerged underwater before the end of movement process. Read more.