Selasa, 16 Agustus 2011
Iron Age lion statue unearthed by Toronto archeologists
Archeologists with a University of Toronto project in Turkey are chuffed about a recent find — a 3,000-year-old lion in full roar.
The university says its Tayinat Archeological Project in southeastern Turkey has unearthed the remains of a monumental gate complex.
Among the stone sculptures on the gate, it says, is a "magnificently carved lion."
The professor in charge of the project says the lion is fully intact, about 1.3 metres tall and 1.6 metres wide.
Timothy Harrison, a professor in the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, says the lion is "in a seated position, with ears back, claws extended and roaring."
The university says the find offers a glimpse into the Iron Age states that emerged in the eastern Mediterranean around the end of the second millennium BC.
"A second piece found nearby depicts a human figure flanked by lions, which is an iconic Near Eastern cultural motif known as the Master and Animals," Harrison said in a release Tuesday.
"It symbolizes the imposition of civilized order over the chaotic forces of the natural world."
The gate complex would have provided access to the citadel of Kunulua, which was the capital of the Neo-Hittite Kingdom of Patina around 950-725 BC, the university said.
A similar gate was excavated by British archeologist Sir Leonard Woolley in 1911, at the royal Hittite city of Carchemish.
The recently unearthed gate complex appears to have been destroyed following the Assyrian conquest of the site in 738 BC, the university added.
The Tayinat Archeological Project involves researchers from a dozen countries and more than 20 universities and research institutes. It operates in close collaboration with Turkey's Ministry of Culture.
The project is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Institute for Aegean Prehistory, and receives support from the University of Toronto.