1,700-year-old Ro­man bust found in an­cient city in Turkey’s south

Timeless Travels Magazine - - ARCHAEOLOGICAL NEWS -

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

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