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Bust of Herakles found in ancient Kibyra

Excavations in the ancient city of Kibyra have unearthed a new bust of Herakles from the second century A.D., the front part of which depicts a lion.

Bust of Herakles found in ancient Kibyra
Excavations at the ancient city of Kibyra [Credit: AA]
Work in Kibyra, which is located in the southern Turkish province of Burdur’s Gölhisar district, are being headed by Mehmet Akif Ersoy University Archaeology Department academic Şükrü Özdoğru.

One of the excavation team members, Dicle University’s İsmail Baytak, said they had found the bust in a foundation in the agora of the ancient city.

Noting that the most important feature of the bust was the depiction of the lion, Baytak said: “This bust has great importance. We made a review of the literature and realized that such a bust has never been seen in this region and in other museums. It is the first and only of its type that makes us very pleased.”

Bust of Herakles found in ancient Kibyra
The bust of Herakles recently discovered at Kibyra 
[Credit: Hurriyet]
Baytak said the workmanship on the bust pointed to the second century A.D., the era of the Antonine dynasty. “You can see the eyes of the lion in the upper part of the bust and its manes in the back side. These manes do not belong to Heracles but the lion. In mythology, Herakles already has the feature of a demi-god. The depiction of the lion represents power.”

Baytak said the bust would be cleaned and preserved in a depot. “Herakles puts the fur of the lion on his head and ties it to his own body. We have removed the head of the bust only,” he added.

The academic said they would give the bust to the Burdur Museum after the end of the excavation season and were planning to unearth the other section of the statue during next year’s excavations.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News [October 21, 2014]

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1 comment :

  1. This is clearly not a Roman era sculpture. Kibyra was a Lydian town with residents from all over the East part of the Mediterranean Sea, with dominant element its Greek population. Hercules is a part of Greek (not Roman) mythology, and the artwork of this bust shows Hellenic (not even Hellenistic) characteristics.


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