Figurines found in Myra ancient city
ANTALYA – Demirören News Agency
More than 50 terracotta figurines have been found in the ancient city of Myra in the Demre district of the southern province of Antalya that consisted of partially preserved clay female, male, god, goddess, ram and horseman figurines and inscriptions of vow from the 1st and 2nd century B.C. that have excited the scientific world.
The artifacts will be exhibited at the Museum of Lycian Civilizations in Demre.
The Myra and Andriakee excavations have been conducted under the direction of Professor Nevzat Çevik on behalf of the Culture and Tourism Ministry and Akdeniz University. The works unearthed more than 50 terracotta figurines, which date back 2,000 to 2,200 years.
Stating that the main goal of the 2020 excavations was to unravel the secrets of the Roman-era theater, Çevik said that they shaped their work programs within its scope.
Çevik said that during the theater excavations in the ancient city of Myra while searching the early assets before the Roman theater, the walls of the Hellenistic-era structures were unearthed as well.
Çevik said that during their excavation works they found a small theater that remained under the Roman theater in the Hellenistic period and a large number of terracotta statuettes, various ceramics, bronze, lead and silver objects that were scattered around in that space.
Drawing attention to the rich variety of the figurines of women, men, children, gods, goddesses, rams, horsemen, fruit bearers, women with children and inscriptions of vow, Çevik said, “We found an amazing terracotta figurine collection together. We haven’t reached the entire collection yet. It is as if the people of Myra were resurrected, ran together and reached today. Intact and complete, there are hundreds of more figurine pieces belonging to the collection, which currently includes 40-50 pieces. When the broken pieces come together there will be more figurines, too. The figurines feature the daily life. The fact that the dyes on them are partially preserved shows us the color of clothes they wore in their time. The creation of this rich collection of an extraordinary variety of figurines also shows us the technology of that time and the art of statuette. It gives rich clues about what existed in the 1st and 2nd century B.C. in Myra.”
Stating that red, blue and pink colors were used in different shades in terracotta figurines, Çevik said, “Some of the works, which were discovered together for the first time like the rich collection provides important information about the art, culture and beliefs of the period, which are very important unique works that we see for the first time.”
Stating that the findings, such as extraordinary rich terracotta figurines, were the 2020 excavation season’s gift to Turkey and the world of archeology, Çevik said the cleaning, preservation and restoration of the pieces, which was a very sensitive and long job, continued. Though they did not reach the entire collection yet, they will publish and share the details with the scientific world when the studies complete.
He noted that a special design is in place in the Demre Museum of Lycian Civilizations for the display of the collection unearthed.