In the early 1890s, the German archaeologist Karl Humann unearthed the remains of a 2,300-year-old man Temple of zeus in the ancient Greek city of Magnesia, located in what is now the province of Aydın in Turkey. The excavation site was then re-buried and almost forgotten until Görkem Kökdemir, archaeologist at Ankara University, began excavations there twenty years ago.
This latest effort has proven to be immensely successful. To date, Kökdemir and his team have discovered a shrine, stadium, theater, 80 statues and other artifacts. Now, reports Ferdi Uzun for state management Anadolu Agency (AA), researchers discovered the entrance gate to the sacred temple of Zeus.
Talk with the Daily News from Hürriyet, Kökdemir says: “We believe that the temple we found in this region is a well-known temple in the history of architecture, as is the Temple of Artemis, which is the fourth largest temple in Anatolia and also located in Magnesia. ” (The third largest is a Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, whose ruins stand on what is now Western Turkey.)
Archaeologists tentatively dated the gate and accompanying temple to the third century BCE, reports the public broadcaster TRT World. Magnesia itself was established in the fourth century BCE
– Hürriyet Daily News (@HDNER) September 28, 2021
The area where the gate was found is one of the most sacred in Magnesia.
“There is the sacred space of Artemis there, there is also a sacred agora,” Kökdemir told TRT World. “The Temple of Zeus is in the sacred agora. Its very important. It is the second important worship [of Magnesia]. “
He adds: “In ancient cities, people [worshipped] not just a deity, they [worshipped] several gods or goddesses. In Magnesia, the first deity is Artemis and the second deity is Zeus.
Kökdemir expects his team to uncover 60 to 70 percent of the temple’s original structure. Researchers plan to restore the place of worship, which once featured pillars about 16 feet high and a roof 24 feet above the ground, notes Patricia Claus for the Greek journalist.
During the 19th century excavations, Humann unearthed a small part of the temple of Zeus. These pieces, now hosted at Pergamon Museum in Berlin, were used to fashion an exhibit that included “90 percent imitation pieces,” Kökdemir told TRT World. Fortune structure remains visible today.
Excavations at Magnesia are expected to continue for some time. Kökdemir hopes the temple will be fully restored in a few years, but acknowledges that it will likely take 15 to 20 years to uncover a nearby stadium said to have a capacity of around 50,000 people.
“When we dig up this temple completely, the eyes of the archaeological community around the world will be there,” he told AA.