A sculpture of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius has been unearthed during archaeological excavations in the ancient city of Sagalassos in southwestern Turkey.
In an interview with the A.A, Professor Marc Wealkens of the Belgian Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, who heads the archaeological excavations, said on Friday that the 80-centimeter sculpture weighed about 30 kilograms.
Wealkens said that the sculpture would be exhibited at the archaeological museum in the southeastern province of Burdur.
Born in A.D.121, Marcus Aurelius was Roman Emperor from 161 until his death in A.D.180. He was the last of the "Five Good Emperors", and is also considered one of the most important Stoic philosophers. His tenure was marked by wars in Asia against a revitalized Parthian Empire, and with Germanic tribes along the Limes Germanicus into Gaul and across the Danube.
Marcus Aurelius' work “Meditations”, written in Greek while on campaign between A.D.170 and 180, is still revered as a literary monument to a government of service and duty.
Sagalassos is an archaeological site in southwestern Turkey. In Roman Imperial times, the town was known as the 'first city of Pisidia'. The urban site was laid out on various terraces at an altitude between 1400 and 1600 meters. Inhabitants were forced to abandon their city after a devastating earthquake around the middle of the seventh century.
Large-scale excavations started in 1990 under the direction of Prof. Dr. Marc Waelkens of the Belgian Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. A large number of buildings, monuments and other archaeological remains have been exposed, documenting the monumental aspect of the Hellenistic, Roman and early Byzantine history of this town.
I keep forgetting to mention Archaeology Magazine's 'interactive dig' page on Sagalassos ... this find isn't mentioned yet, but I'm sure it will be soon ...