Stone with god’s name found in ancient city
Archaeological excavations carried out in the ancient city of Hadrianopolis in the northern province of Karabük have unearthed a block stone that has the name of the god of health, Asclepius, written on it.
Associate Professor Ersin Çelikbaş, Karabük University’s Department of Archeology member and excavation director, said that Asclepius was the god of health in ancient times and that this culture existed in the ancient city.
The excavations started in 2003 in the Hadrianopolis, located in the city’s Eskipazar district. In the ongoing excavations in a square planned structure, which was unearthed in the ancient city last year, a block stone with the words “Ailios Deiotaros presented it to the Savior Asclepiosa” engraved on it was discovered.
Stating that they started excavations around the square planned structure, Çelikbaş said, “We have determined that these are the units of the inner castle. As the excavation progressed, we found a block stone. Later, we opened this stone from various points, and an inscription of three lines appeared on it. The inscription is very important for Hadrianopolis and the Black Sea archaeology. We previously knew the existence of Asclepios here, but with the appearance of this inscription here, we have clearly determined that there was the Asclepius culture in Hadrianopolis.”
Çelikbaş stated that Asclepius was the god of health in ancient times and said: “In places where this culture existed in ancient times, there were usually hospitals. We can say that the Asclepius culture was detected for the first time in this Black Sea region. We have seen the figures of god Asclepius on the coins that Hadrianopolis had minted, but these figures on the coins do not express the existence of culture somewhere. The emergence of the inscription clearly revealed this Asclepian culture in Hadrianopolis.”
Located 3 kilometers east of Karabük, the ancient city of Hadrianopolis is believed to have been founded in the 1st century B. C. and was used as a settlement until the 8th century A.D.
Archaeological surface surveys have uncovered 14 public buildings and other structures in the ancient city of Hadrianopolis so far.
Among these public buildings are two baths, two churches, a defense structure, rock tombs, a theater, an arched and domed structure, a monumental cultic niche, walls, a villa, other monumental buildings, and some religious buildings.
The church floors are decorated with mosaics and have images of the rivers of Geon, Phison, Tigris and Euphrates imprinted on them, which are mentioned in the Bible.
Besides, various animals, such as horses, bulls, elephants, panthers, deer, and peacocks, are also depicted in the mosaics of the ancient city.