Roman marble female figure found in Turkey’s Tyana


During the drilling excavations carried out by the Niğde Museum Directorate in the ancient city of Tyana, an intact female figure made of marble with clear facial features was unearthed.

Museum Director Yakup Ünlüler told Anadolu Agency (AA) that they identified a settlement and necropolis (cemetery) area in the northwest of the ancient city of Tyana, located in the Kemerhisar district of Turkey’s central Niğde province.

A view from the Niğde Museum, Niğde, central Turkey, June 20, 2022. (AA)

Noting that Nevşehir Cultural Heritage Preservation Board has decreed excavations to reveal the site’s potential here, Ünlüler stated that the Niğde Museum Directorate carried out a drilling excavation in the region in 2021. He added that they identified the remains of architectural structures from the Roman period and burial structures from the Byzantine period at the end of the six drilling excavations.

According to information by Ünlüler, the museum directorate teams determined a fragment of a figure just below the surface soil in their fifth drilling excavation. “The female figurine is made of fine-grained marble, and its eyes, nose and lips are processed in proportion to the chin structure. The figure has slightly plump lips and cheeks, a slightly protruding chin, a slightly arched nose, thick eyebrows and almond-like eyes. The figure’s curly hair, which is divided into two from the top, becomes a bun at the back.”

A view from the unearthed female figure from the ancient city of Tyana, Niğde, central Turkey, June 20, 2022. (AA)

A view from the unearthed female figure from the ancient city of Tyana, Niğde, central Turkey, June 20, 2022. (AA)

The excavation teams think that the work should be dated to the Flavian dynasty period.

Ünlüler also stated that they think that a very high-ranking or rich person commissioned the statuette due to the high quality of the marble and the high workmanship.

Noting that the Roman period artifacts unearthed from Tyana are exhibited in the fourth hall of the Niğde Museum, Ünlüler stated that the female figurine would be exhibited to visitors after the arrangement is made in the showcase.

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