A 2,100-year-old marble mother goddess sculpture of Kybele has been unearthed during excavations in the Black Sea province of Ordu’s Kurul Castle, one of the first archaeological digs in the region.
The 110-centimeter sculpture was found during excavations carried out by 25 archaeologists under the direction of Gazi University Archaeology Department Professor Süleyman Yücel.Ordu Mayor Enver Yılmaz said they had provided 500,000 Turkish Liras for the excavations this year. “Last year we made a serious move for the excavations by providing 1 million liras and works accelerated. I hope the castle and its environs will serve Turkish tourism with sculptures and other artifacts like an open-air museum,” he said. The Kybele sculpture is the most important artifact found in Turkey so far this year, Şenyurt said.
“We are working non-stop and found the mother goddess Kybele sculpture. It is very important for Turkish archaeology, and it was discovered in Ordu,” he said.Şenyurt said the sculpture was the first marble sculpture in Turkey to be discovered in its original place. “This happens very rarely. According to our examinations, during the occupation of Roman soldiers at Kurul Castle, the walls of the main gate collapsed … We think that the sculpture is from the sixth Mithridates period [named for the king of Pontus and Armenia Minor in northern Anatolia from about 120 to 63 B.C.] and belongs to the Hellenistic Pontus Kingdom. We also believe that it was brought from the western province of Afyon to this castle.” He said the priceless sculpture would remain in its place for some time before being transported to the museum in Ordu.