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More than 600 ancient seals and amulets found in Turkey


Nov. 18, 2013 — Classical students from the Cluster of Excellence “Faith and Politics” made an surprisingly huge to find of seals in an historic sanctuary in Turkey. They found greater than 600 stamp seals and cylinder seals on the sacred website of the storm and climate god Jupiter Dolichenus, a hundred of which within the present year on my own. “Such huge quantities of seal consecrations are unheard-of in any related sanctuary,” mentioned excavation director Prof. Dr. Engelbert Iciness and archaeologist Dr. Michael Blömer on the finish of the excavation season. On this admire, the discovering of a large number of items from the seventh to the 4th centuries B.C. on the subject of the traditional metropolis of Doliche is unparalleled.

“The amazingly massive quantity proves how essential seals and amulets have been for the worshipping of the god to whom they have been consecrated as votive choices,” consistent with Classical pupil Prof. Wintry weather. Many items express scenes of adoration. “As a result, they supply an incredibly vivid and specified perception into the religion of the time.” The stamp seals and cylinder seals in addition to scarabs, made from glass, stone and quartz ceramics, had been largely crafted in a superb method. Following the restoration work, the finds have been passed over to the related museum in Gaziantep in Turkey.

Totally different issues will also be discovered on the seals and amulets: the spectrum tiers from geometric adorns and astral symbols to intricate depictions of animals and other people. This contains, as an example, praying males in entrance of divine symbols. Some other standard theme used to be a royal hero preventing animals and hybrid creatures. “Even these photography that don’t depict a deity categorical robust non-public piety: with their seals, individuals consecrated an object to their god which was once intently related to their very own id,” stated Blömer. Folks wore the amulets discovered with the seals in on a regular basis lifestyles. “Strung on chains, they had been presupposed to fend off dangerous success,” defined the archaeologist.

From the Iron Age except the Roman Empire

Prior to now, the researchers have been ready to establish late Babylonian, native Syrian Achaemenid and Levantine seals. “The big in finding offers new impetus for analysis to reply to unsolved questions of cult practices, cult continuity and cult extension — in particular, these are vital for the working out of the early historical past of the sanctuary within the 1st millennium B.C., which had been unknown unless not too long ago,” in step with Prof. Wintry weather. Later, within the 2nd century A.D., Jupiter Dolichenus was one of the vital essential deities of the Roman Empire.

All the way through this year’s excavations on the Turkish mountain Dülüok Baba Tepesi, Prof. Wintry weather’s group labored in a local of over 500 sq. metres. “The consequences are already extending our data of all classes on this holy situation’s lengthy historical past. It covers the time span from the early location of worship of the Iron Age and the sacred web site of the Roman technology, well-known all the way through the empire, to the lengthy segment of utilisation as a Christian monastery, which existed except neatly into the time of the crusaders,” defined Prof. Iciness. The 2-month excavation marketing campaign has been in particular fruitful as regards the sanctuary’s early years. “On the top’s relevant plateau, along with a neatly-preserved portion of the thick Iron Age enclosing wall, components of constructions from the seventh to 4th centuries sooner than Christ had been excavated inside the enclosure for the primary time.” As a result of new finds similar to columns or capitals relationship again to the Roman generation, the primary temple of the empire’s sanctuary can now be reconstructed. In step with the students, the site of the temple, alternatively, continues to be posing riddles.

Work on the archaeological park is continuing

After this year’s excavation season had ended, work on the touristic construction persisted. “We had been in a position to complete a guests’ direction resulting in vital areas inside the excavation web page, with signposts in three languages.” Moreover, consistent with the researchers, a large number of protecting and precautionary measures are required to be able to steady the continues to be of the sanctuary completely. An preliminary huge protecting refuge has already been erected this year.

In 2012, the analysis group introduced an archaeological park which is to make the distinguished temple complicated and the native medieval monastery ruins of Mar Solomon obtainable to the general public at massive. For that objective, the ruins had already been preserved and encased with a distinct fleece subject material, in line with the students. The implementation of the advanced and expensive safety measures used to be made that you can imagine by means of cooperation with the Turkish College of Gaziantep, which equipped about 200,000 Euros for 3 years, as Prof. Iciness mentioned. As regards the digital documentation of the realm, the staff was once supported by using the Institute for Geoinformatics of the College of Münster, the place a quadrocopter — a remotely piloted car — with a 3D camera was once developed.