|© Today’s Zaman newspaper|
Oct 4, 2013 | World Bulletin
A group of archeologists have made a significant discovery in Turkey, unearthing an ancient Roman column piece touted as the largest of its kind. Ataturk University's archeology team brought to light on Friday a colossal Corinthian capital measuring 1.9m in diameter and 2.5 m in height in Erdek district.
"This is the largest and most exquisite Corinthian capital built within the territory of the Roman Empire," said team head Nurettin Kochan. The piece is crafted in the Corinthian order, chronologically the latest of three recognized ancient Roman architectural styles. It was found at the site of Kyzikos Hadrian Temple where excavation work has continued since August 15. Kochan said the discovery bore significance on a global scale and would contribute to Turkey's tourism sector.
He said the dimensions of the capital surpass those at the world-renowned Baalbek Temple in Lebanon, among the best preserved Roman temple sites.
"There's no other capital of this size in the Corinthian order," he said. "Kyzikos Hadrian Temple outshines even the Baalbek Temple of Jupiter in Lebanon, considered the largest and most spectacular Corinthian temple in the world."
Kochan said they have also found large pieces of frieze decorated with reliefs featuring larger-than-life representations of human, eagle and bull figures. Hadrian Temple is similar in size to the Temple of Artemis in the ancient city of Ephesus and the Temple of Apollo in Didim, both located in Turkey's Aegean region.
The excavations, carried out by a team consisting of university professors, grad and undergrad students and dozens of workers, will continue until October 8.