In a series of recent excavations in the ancient city of Aizanoi, located in the Çavdarhisar district of Kütahya province in western Turkey, archaeologists have unearthed well-preserved heads of the goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite, and the deity of wine, Dionysus.
Aizanoi, boasting a history spanning 5,000 years and recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List site since 2012, is a treasure trove of archaeological wonders. The city, situated 50 kilometers from Kütahya city center, served as the main settlement of the Aizanitis people in ancient Phrygia. Throughout the Hellenistic period, the region experienced shifts in dominion, alternating between Pergamum and Bithynia, ultimately falling under Roman rule in 133 BCE.
Leading the archaeological efforts in Aizanoi is Professor Gökhan Coşkun, who shared details of the recent findings with Anadolu Agency (AA). The excavation team, active since last April, has uncovered over 100 statue pieces, including the remarkable heads of Aphrodite and Dionysus. These heads, some belonging to statues measuring 2-3 meters in length, were first discovered three years ago and have remained remarkably well-preserved.
“The most exciting development for us this season is uncovering new heads of the goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite, and the deity of wine, Dionysus,” said Coşkun.
The ongoing excavation in Aizanoi has also unearthed other significant artifacts, including 2,000-year-old makeup and jewelry products discovered in September.
The archaeological site encompasses various structures, such as the Temple of Zeus, Stadium-Theater Complex, Magellum (the world’s first-known stock exchange building), Roman Baths, Antique Dam structure, Colonnaded Street, and Roman Bridges, making Aizanoi one of the most important cities of the Roman Period in Anatolia.
Coşkun highlighted the remarkable condition of the statue heads, emphasizing their significance in contributing to the overall understanding of the region’s cultural and artistic heritage. “During our excavations, so far we have discovered two Aphrodite and three Dionysus statue heads,” he added.
The excavation season, initiated in April, is set to conclude by the end of this month.