1,700-year-old statue ‘may be philanthropist’
An ancient statue, found a couple weeks ago during excavations in the ancient city of Perge in the southern province of Antalya, is believed to have belonged to a female benefactor from one of the aristocratic families of the ancient city
The 1,700-year-old woman statue, whose head is broken by the neck, reflects the features of the Perge Sculpture School with its plain dress, wavy hair, the veil on her head, eyebrows, eyebrows, lips and chin. The statue built in third century A.D. will be presented to the visitors in Antalya Museum after the cleaning and assembly works.
The 180-cenimeter statue, found in the city founded by the commanders of the Trojan War, was led by a woman named “Plancia Magna” and the statue could be hers, according to Sedef Çokay Kepçe, chair of the excavation works in the ancient city and an archeology professor at Istanbul University.
“The area where we find the piece is the area with the circular towers,” she told Demirören News Agency.
“A serious renovation activity was carried out in the area in third century A.D., sculptures were added, arrangements were made. It is almost like a special place of honor was created. For this reason, this woman statue we found is probably an honored woman belonging to one of the city’s aristocratic families.
Indicating that Perge’s famous female manager “Plancia Manga” is an important philanthropist, Kepçe said, “This woman may be a philanthropist woman like her.”
The dress of the woman statue is a thin draped, long coat, Kepçe added.
“Her head is covered. It is shaped so that her right hand covers her collar and her left arm is out. When we look at the back of the garment, we see that it is less embroidered. The statue must have been placed in a niche. When it was first placed in its place, it probably should have an honorary letter underneath. The head of the statue was found in place with its neck broken. The hair is split in half in waves. The processing of pupils, eyebrows, nose, lips, and chin is very similar to the characteristics of the Perge School of Sculpture.”
The ancient city of Perge is situated 17 kilometers east of Antalya, within the borders of Aksu. The archaeological site in the ancient city has been excavated systemically by Istanbul University since 1946, and was added to the UNESCO Tentative Heritage list in 2009.
The city, according to the U.N. agency, is known for local sculptures, where women were active on an administrative level.