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Saturday, October 24, 2015

Medusa head found in the ruins of ancient Roman

Archaeologists discovered a marble Medusa head, who survived the Christian campaign against the Pagan art, in the ruins of the ancient Roman city in southern Turkey.

Medusa head was unearthed at Antioch ad Cragum, the city is found in the first century, around the reign of Emperor Nero, who had all the marks of Roman relics such as baths, shops, streets with rows of columns, mosaics and the local council house.
A statue of Medusa's head was discovered at Antiochia ad Cragum in Turkey, dating to the first century. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/1GhMbpe)
Medusa, the snake-haired with eyes and mouth wide open, a mythological monster that can turn people into stone with her gaze. In Antioch, a statue of Medusa has apotropaic function, to ward off evil, but then considered an idol by Christians who live there.

"People who live in Antioch and then are Christians diligently devastating art objects such as ISIS destroy the remnants of the past," said Michael Hoff, an art historian and the director of excavations at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

"These objects are destroyed and incorporated into the lime kiln to be burnt and converted into mortar," said Hoff told LiveScience. Antioch, which covers an area of ​​over three hectares, located in a city of a little Gazipas, which is on top of the cliff which has become an area dominated by wheat fields.

Little information is known about the city from ancient sources, and even though the archaeological site has been identified at the beginning of the 19th century, not many scholars who give a lot of attention according to Hoff.

"The fact that little-known town makes it very interesting for us archaeologists," he said. Evidence that had been dug by Hoff and his friends shows that Antioch may have become an economic player when the Roman Empire, a center of trade and wine production, agriculture and glass. "The results of all economic activities is a high degree cultural output," said Hoff.

In 2012, they found a very large poolside mosaic that covers an area of ​​150 square meters with intricate geometric patterns. They also ever found the head of a statue of Aphrodite in 2013.
An aerial view of the bouletarian, or city council house, recently discovered at the ancient site of Antiochia ad Cragum. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/1GhMbpe)
Most of the sites of Roman art objects were gone. At some time after Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire in the fourth century, several churches built in Antioch.

Hoff said his team found many pieces of sculpture section already crushed into pieces; they also discovered the presence of evident inspiration Christians lime kiln where art objects of marble processed into mortar.

A group of Turkish students found the head of Medusa near the foundation of the building may be a small temple in the past. Hoff and his colleagues had to reconstruct the head and pieces of marble in the vicinity, indicate that the Medusa head is not part of a statue that stands alone, but is part of the pediment of the building. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | LIVESCIENCE]
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