1,700-year-old Roman bust found in ancient city in Turkey’s south
A1,700-year-old Roman marble bust has been unearthed during excavations in the ancient city of Soli Pompeiopolis in the southern province of Mersin’s Mezitli district in Turkey. Soli was an ancient city and port in Cilicia, a colony of Rhodes, founded in c. 700 BCE. It was destroyed in the 1st century BCE, and later rebuilt by Pompey the Great and then named Pompeiopolis.
The bust is believed to depict a Roman aristocrat or commander who lived in the ancient city at the end of the 2nd century or the beginning of the 3rd century CE.
Hundreds of artefacts have been found so far during the excavations in the ancient city and they include statues of gods, streets lined by columns with busts of emperors and senior managers, a theater and a Roman bath, as well as the city’s harbour and aqueduct.
Once excavations are complete, it is thought that the ancient city, which dates back to the Neolithic period, as well as having Hellenistic and Roman remains, will be as important as the archaeological site of Ephesus in western Turkey. The work at the site is headed by Dokuz Eylül University’s Prof. Remzi Yağcı and is supported by the Mersin Municipality.
The artefacts unearthed so far are displayed at Mersin Museum, which will also be home for the newly discovered portrait bust. The bust depicts a bearded man looking right with a stern face.
The new bust from Soli Pompeiopolis