Two heads that belonged to a pair of statues, carved 5,000 years ago in limestone, were recently unearthed in a city in western Turkey. They are representations of Greek deities Aphrodite the goddess of love, and Dionisio the god of wine, which share “an astonishing beauty,” said Gokhan Coskun, the archaeologist coordinating the excavation with Anadolu Agency.
The expedition was carried out in the city of Aizanoi, located in the Çavdarhisar district, west of Kütahya in Turkey. This city, which dates back five thousand years when it was the capital of Aizanitis, was discovered in 1824 by a group of European travelers, but its archaeological study only began in 1926.
Then, in 2012, it was listed as a “provisional” World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its historical importance as a commercial, religious and political enclave of the Roman Empire.
In Aizanoi, there are also buildings of great historical value such as the Temple of Zeus (one of the best preserved in the world), the Stadium-Theater Complex and the Macellum.
The head of Aphrodite (50 cm) and that of Dionisio (45 cm) were found in a stream bed; However, it is still unknown under what circumstances and why they were separated from their bodies, which were found in an expedition carried out in August this year.
On that day, the partial statue of the ancient goddess Hygieia was also found, who was worshiped to guarantee health, cleanliness and sanitation, from which the word hygiene derives. Hygieia’s body, like those of Aphrodite and Dionysus, measures roughly the size of a human being.
Following the discoveries, the team of archaeologists from Kütahya Dumlupınar University suggests that there may also have been a sculpture workshop in the region that carved the works of art or that the Greek faith persisted during Roman rule.
“We know that the ancient Greek gods Aphrodite and Dionysus also existed under different names in Roman times. These findings are important to us because they show that the polytheistic culture of Greece existed for a long time without losing its importance in Roman times, ”said Gokhan Coskun.