Sculpture Of Aurelius Unearthed In Sagalassos

Woops! Having posted a piece from the Turkish Press, I find much better coverage, with nice big pics, from the Daily Mail. Do look at the pics.

(There are more pics on the BBC site.)

Archaeologists have discovered an exquisite marble statue of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius.

The emperor, who ruled between 161 and 180 AD, was portrayed by Richard Harris in the film Gladiator.

The statue’s 3ft-tall head, 5ft-long right arm and huge lower legs were found at the ancient city of Sagalassos in Turkey.

Belgian Professor Marc Waelkens, who is leading the dig, said its eyes gaze upwards ‘as if in deep contemplation, perfectly fitting of an emperor who was more of a philosopher than a soldier’.

The statue was found in the largest room at Sagalassos’s Roman baths which is believed to have been a ‘frigidarium’, a room with a cold pool which Romans would sink into after a hot bath.

Archaeologists have been excavating the frigidarium for 12 years and enormous sculptures of Hadrian, his wife Vibia Sabina, emperor Antoninus Pius, his wife Faustina the Elder and Marcus Aurelius are all thought to have adorned the 13,500sq ft room.

Here’s the original post, from Turkish Press

AGLASUN – 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 was about 30 kg in weight.

Wealkens said that the sculpture would be exhibited in the archaeological museum in the southeastern province of Burdur.

(There’s more background about Marcus Aurelius, but no picture – follow the link above.)

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