Afrodisias reveals Roman sculptures in western Turkey

Ancient sculptures from Roman times have been unearthed during excavation work in Aydın’s Karacasu district.

Roland Smith, head of the excavation project, said it was an important discovery for the Afrodisias excavation. The excavation work has been ongoing since 1961.

Noting that Afrodisias was an important city during the Greek Empire era, Smith said the ancient city has history starting from 2 B.C. to the 6th century after Christ.

“In ancient times, Afrodisias was a city that combined art, history and nature in the same locale,” said Smith, adding that Afrodisias is one of the best preserved ancient cities in the world. “We have a chance to find rock tombs, sculptures, ancient remains, art works in one city. That’s why Afrodisias is very important for our excavation works.”

The team is continuing excavation work in three locations. “One of the excavation areas is called Tetrapylon Avenue. We are working on three different venues in three points in this large avenue. This avenue gives information about this ancient city and how people lived during ancient times.”

Noting that the team has found valuable remains from the Ottoman era, Smith said: “We have found a sculpture from Roman times and we guess this sculpture belongs to a very important leader of the town.”

The team estimates that the sculpture belongs to the Sebastian Passage. “We are still researching the area to learn when this city was established,” he said.

Smith said the team also discovered a crossroads in the city. “There are two drainage channels in the intersection of the crossroads,” said Smith, adding that this is a very important development that revealed the condition of the city.

The other area that the team currently works in is called Hadrian’s Bath. “We keep working on the site with restoration and documentation projects.”

Smith said Afrodisias deserved to enter UNESCO’s main list. “If Afrodisias enters the list, then the tourist numbers will increase.”

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