Princess belt on display at İzmir museum
A 2,800-year-old bronze “princess belt,” which belongs to the Urartian culture, will be exhibited at the İzmir Archaeology Museum for a month.
The İzmir Archeology Museum brings together 12 unique artifacts preserved in its warehouses within the scope of the “You Will See What You Don’t See” project.
The project, where an artifact will be exhibited every month throughout the year, started with the 2,800-year-old bronze princess belt from the Urartu Kingdom, which ruled in the Lake Van and the surrounding geography between the 9th and 6th centuries B.C.
There are figures of the Urartian metalwork on the belt, which is supposed to be used by a woman belonging to the royal family, rulers or a wealthy group.
In the center of the belt is a feast scene for gods and goddesses. The scene features a table, the feet of which is in the shape of a bull or goat’s hoof, with food in front of the goddess sitting on the throne, and a priestess offering the goddess the necessary items for the ceremony.
In the depiction on the belt, the goddess sitting on the throne, the feet of which is in the shape of a lion’s claw, accepts the offerings by holding a bowl in one hand and an object with pendulum in the other.
Speaking to the state-run Anadolu Agency, İzmir Archaeology Museum Director Hünkar Keser said that the museum is home to 180,000 artifacts but it is not possible to display each of them, therefore they have to preserve some very valuable artifacts in the warehouses.
Reminding that the museums were closed for a while last year as part of the COVID-19 pandemic, Keser said that they continued to host their visitors after June.
Keser stated that they initiated the project with the permission of the Culture and Tourism Ministry to bring citizens together with the artifacts that they could only see once or twice in their lives, and also added that they put an artifact belonging to the Van region on display in January.
Stating that the princess belt was purchased three years ago by the İzmir Archeology Museum, Keser said, “A feast scene with a goddess is engraved on the belt. This unique work was produced for a princess in the Iron Age, it was not possible for anyone else to use it because it was buried with her.”
Keser stated that the princess belt will also be observed by the scientific world during the period of its exhibition, and that they are happy to bring an invaluable piece together with both academics and museum visitors.
Noting that selling the belt, which carries anecdotes about goddess, talisman and protectorate, is out of the question, Keser said that some works of the same period found buyers for $ 5 million at auctions in the U.S.
Keser added that all the artifacts in the İzmir Archeology Museum are protected by strict security measures.
Within the scope of the project, they will display a red-figured oil from the classical period and a perfume container in February, a silver and gold Sun Goddess figure dated to the Bronze Age in March, and ceremonial vessels from the Archaic period in April.
The artifact that the museum will display in May will be the Kilia Type Idol-Stargazer from the Middle Chalcolithic period.
The artifact in June will be the Hellenistic-era Artemis Temple model and in July will be a bronze strigilis (a tool for the cleansing of the body) from the same period.
The Hellenistic-era figurines accompanying the spirit will be exhibited in August, Egyptian figurines dating from the Archaic period in September, an oil bowl depicting Achelous from the same period in October, a female Protom grave gift from the Classical period in November, and a cuneiform tablet from the Bronze Age will be exhibited in December.