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Turkiye archaeologists unearth statue head of Hygieia, the ancient Greek goddess of health

May 21, 2024 at 8:21 pm

An aerial view of Aizanoi Ancient City, discovered 199 years ago by European travelers in the Cavdarhisar district of Kutahya province in Turkiye on October 06, 2023 [Muharrem Cin – Anadolu Agency]

Archaeologists discovered a 2100-year-old statue head attributed to Hygieia, also known as the goddess of health, in south-western Turkiye’s ancient city of Laodikeia, Anadolu Agency reports.

Archaeologists discovered numerous 2,100-year-old statue fragments, including a statue head attributed to the Hygieia Goddess, while excavating the West Theatre’s stage building in the ancient Laodikeia city of Denizli province.

Hygieia is known as the daughter of Asklepios, the ancient god of medicine.

Celal Simsek, head of the excavation team, told Anadolu that while the statue head has been discovered, efforts are underway to locate the remaining parts.

There is information from multiple sources indicating the existence of a medical school in Laodikeia and its vicinity, Simsek said, stressing that the statute head backs these claims.Pointing out that the statue head is estimated to be around 2,100 years old, he said: “We already knew from ancient sources how important medicine was in this region, especially with significant doctors. I hope that, in the near future, the lower part of the statue will also be found.”

“Finding the head of the goddess of health, Hygieia, here supports the notion of medical activities, which truly excites us as an excavation team.”

Meanwhile, Simsek shared some photos of the discovery on X, saying, “Goddess Hygieia meeting the sun and us after 2100 years in Laodikeia.”

“Laodikeia was the most famous and influential city in the 1st century BC. The remains of the city are dated from this era. The Romans made the city the centre of Kybira’s conventus (Golhisar-Horzum) because of its geographical location, Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry said in a separate statement.

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