Archaeologists unearth statue of Roman Emperor Hadrian in ancient city in Turkey

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Archaeologists unearth statue of Roman Emperor Hadrian in ancient city in Turkey

Archaeological excavations in the ancient city of Alabanda in the western province of Aydın have brought to light the fragments of the statue of Roman Emperor Publius Aelius Traianus Hadrianus.

Parts of Emperor Publius Aelius Traianus Hadrianus statue Photo: Gökhan Düzyol – Anadolu Agency

The statue is believed to date back 1,900 years.

The excavations that started in 2015 in Alabanda, which is located on an area of 500 hectares in Çine district and is said to be one of the largest ancient cities in Anatolia, are being headed by Ali Yalçın, professor at the Tavukçu Erzurum Atatürk University’s Department of Archaeology.

The fragments of the marble statue of Roman Emperor Hadrianus, which is believed to have been brought to Aydın in 120, have been found in different spots during the ongoing excavations in the parliament building.

Works are continuing to find the other parts of the marble statue, which has six parts, including some parts of its head and body. The 2.5-meter-tall statue will be brought to the Aydın Archaeology Museum after works are completed.

“The area, where the statue fragments were found, is the ancient parliament building. It is one of the largest parliament buildings in Anatolia. We care about exhibiting the artifacts on their site.

When the statue is completed in the next few seasons, we will probably see many visitors here thanks to this statue, which is rare in the world,” Aydın Provincial Culture and Tourism Director Umut Tuncer said.

Parts of Emperor Publius Aelius Traianus Hadrianus statue Photo: Gökhan Düzyol – Anadolu Agency

Speaking about the find, Tavukçu said, “Last year, we accelerated the work in the billiardium [council building], which is one of the three important regions here. This year we found fragments of the armored emperor statue, which we call ‘portrait sculpture.’ The parts of this statue were found in different places.

It will be one of the important artifacts in the museum. Hadrian was one of the emperors in the Roman Empire who visited the country the most. He also had many expeditions to Anatolia. We think that there is an inscription of honor next to this statue, which we think was made for the arrival of Hadrian, who ruled between 117 and 138.”

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There are Hellenistic and Roman remnants in Alabanda, including towering walls, a theatre, a senate house, a people’s assembly structure, The Temple of Apollo, an agora, and mausoleums.

In addition, on the Kemer Creek in the south, there is a Roman Period aqueduct.


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