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ARCHAEOLOGY > Unique sculpture found at excavation

HATAY - Doğan News Agency

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The newly found sculpture shows motifs similar to other Anatolian figures, but it is very different from other discoveries uncovered so far, says Minister Günay.

The newly found sculpture shows motifs similar to other Anatolian figures, but it is very different from other discoveries uncovered so far, says Minister Günay.

Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay has presented a newly discovered Hittite sculpture in Hatay’s Reyhanlı district. “There is no other similar piece in the world, it is unique,” Günay said of the sculpture that was found during excavations at the Tell Tayinat ancient site.

Günay was visiting the area to analyze the excavation works, and the presenting event took place at Hatay Archaeology Museum. The excavation works are being conducted under Toronto University Archaeology professor Timothy Harrison.

The excavations have been ongoing since 2004 at the Tell Tayinat Tumulus, said Günay, who also thanked the excavation team for uncovering such a valuable piece. Noting that in June the team also found a number of other very valuable Anatolian figures, Günay said this new discovery was unique. “This sculpture is different. It is 1.5 meters long and it weighs 1.5 tons … It is a figure with a beard and long hair, and it seems to be holding a weapon. This shows that the society in these lands that it came from was a warrior one.”

Noting that these sculptures revealed life before Christ, Günay said the founding also shed light on the early Hittite era in Turkey.

“This discovery reveals the Anatolian life in Turkey. This find is not Roman or Greek,” he said.

The sculpture shows motifs similar to other Anatolian figures, but it is very different from other discoveries uncovered so far, said Günay. Although it is made of basalt stone, the eyes of the sculpture are artificial.

The rest of the sculpture has not been found, indicating that it may well have been damaged. However, the upper part is in very good condition, said Günay, who added that he had never seen such a big sculpture anywhere else in the world.

The sculpture has been sent to the Hatay Archeology Museum, where it will be restored by a professional team. The excavation team at Tell Tayinat comes from all over the world, including Canada, Turkey, and the United States.

During Günay’s visit, excavation president Harrison showed the sculpture to the press. Harrison also showed that there is writing that says “Suppiluliuma” at the back of the sculpture.

July/30/2012

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