Important artifacts found in the ancient “city of gladiators”

In Turkey, archaeologists during excavations in the ancient city of Kibira discovered two statues of the gods Serapis and Asclepius, dating back to the Roman period.

According to Hurriyet Daily News, the ancient city of Kibir is located in the Gelhisar region, in the southwestern Turkish province of Burdur. Archaeologists know this settlement as “the city of heroic warriors and fast horses”. In 2016, this monument was included in the provisional list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Important artifacts from the Roman era were found by a team led by Sukru Ozudogru from Burdur University. In the near future they will be on display at the provincial museum.

The statue of Asclepius was found on the southern slope of Caesarion, the temple of the imperial cult. Its height is 38 centimeters. It was split into several pieces.

Asclepius, known in the Greek world as the god of medicine and health, was the son of Apollo. He is depicted dressed, with long curly hair and a beard. At the same time, Asclepius leans on a staff entwined with a snake, and holds an egg in his hand. The last detail, as noted by archaeologists, probably indicates the existence of some special cult of veneration of this god in Kibira. The researchers also note the very delicate work of the ancient master.

According to ancient Greek myths, Asclepius was raised by Heiron, who was half horse and half human. From him he learned all the subtleties of “divine” medicine.

The bust of Serapis was found elsewhere – when clearing vegetation from the site where part of a large Roman bath complex was located. Interestingly, the body of this statue was discovered in 2019. Now her head has also been found.

Serapis is an Egyptian god. He is depicted wearing a chiton, a loose woolen tunic, and a himation, a rectangular cloak of linen or wool. His head is crowned with a basket. Serapis was revered as the god of the sky and the god of light.

As with the above artifact, this item also dates back to the Roman era. Serapis was one of the main gods under Ptolemy, a companion of Alexander the Great, who after his death began to rule in Egypt.

During the Ptolemaic dynasty, the cult of this deity spread very widely. For some time he was identified with Zeus, and later with Asclepius, Dionysus, Hades and Poseidon, that is, with the main gods of the Greek world. It is believed that on the territory of Anatolia in Turkey, the cult of this god existed for many centuries. After restoration, the marble bust of Serapis will also be exhibited at the local museum.

We add that Kibiru is also called the “city of gladiators”, since it hosted competitions popular in the ancient world. The local arena was able to accommodate 10.4 thousand people.

The city was founded about 2300 years ago. It is located among juniper and cedar forests in Burdur province at an altitude of 1350 meters above sea level. Kibira was built in Roman and Byzantine architectural traditions. Previously, the main street, the odeon (house of music), decorated with mosaics depicting the Gorgon Medusa, Roman baths, agora and underground stone tombs were excavated here.

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