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Statue of Woman Unearthed in Ancient Greek City of Perge

perge ancient greek statue
The statue of a female discovered on July 27 in Perge, Antalya, Turkey. Credit: Turkish Ministry of Culture

An ancient statue was unearthed on Monday in the Turkish province of Antalya, near the ancient Greek city of Perge.

Believed to have been made around the year 300 AD, during the time of the Roman Empire, the exquisite piece of sculpture portrays a woman in floor-length robes. Her head has been broken off but it survives.

The ancient Greek city of Perge was known to have had females in its administration. It is unknown, however, at this point, just who is depicted in the sculpture.

Statue among many masterpieces found at Perge

The Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism’s excavation department triumphantly announced the amazing find in 2020.

According to the Ministry, Sedef Cokay Kepçe, an archaeology professor at Istanbul University, is heading up the excavations which unearthed the stunning find. The plans are to display the third-century statue in the Antalya Museum when all the necessary cleaning on the piece has been completed.

The area has always been known for its wealth of sculpture, according to UNESCO.

The ancient Greek city of Perge has been the site of systematic excavations beginning in 1946. The area was included on UNESCO’s Tentative Heritage list in 2009 for its great historical significance.

The ancient city of Perge has been dubbed as “Turkey’s second Zeugma” for the alluring appearance of the mosaics that have been unearthed so far.

The city of Perge is situated 17 kilometers east of Antalya, within the borders of Aksu. The important monumental structures from the Roman period found in the city mean that the Antalya Museum has one of the richest collections of Roman sculptures.

Ancient Greek mosaic depicting Iphigenia found at Perge

One of the many significant finds discovered at the site was an 1,800-year-old mosaic, which showed the sacrifice of Iphigenia, the daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra during the Trojan War in Greek mythology.

Antalya Museum Director Mustafa Demirel said that the mosaic was unearthed when the archaeological team was working to open a shop in the west wing of the site.

“We have found a 1,800-year-old mosaic that depicts the sacrifice of İphigenia during the Trojan War in the city of ancient Perge. This finding, which makes us quite excited, was unearthed when we were working to open a shop in the west wing. We have found out that this was a sacred cult area,” he said.

While the Greek army was preparing to set sail for Troy during the Trojan War, Agamemnon caused the anger of the goddess Artemis, because he killed a sacred deer. So, she decided to stop all winds, so the ships would not be able to sail.

The seer Calchas realized what the problem was and informed Agamemnon that to appease the goddess, Agamemnon had to sacrifice Iphigenia to her.

Reluctant at first, Agamemnon was forced to agree in the end. He lied to his daughter and his wife by saying that Iphigenia was to marry Achilles before they left.

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