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Searching for traces of the ancient Temple of Athena

Posted on Sep, 22, 2017
Contributed to WCHV by WCHV
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Archeologists have rolled up their sleeves to find the Temple of Athena, in the 2,800-year-old ancient city of Aigai, which appeared in 19th-century excavation research by German archeologists.

The excavation works are being conducted under the supervision of Yusuf Sezgin, assistant professor of archeology at

Manisa Celal Bayar University (Turkey) . The Temple of Athena is expected to be erected in at least two months after the definite localization of the temple.

In an interview with Anadolu Agency, Yusuf Sezgin indicated this was the first time since 2004 that there was excavation work for the discovery of the temple and they are trying to understand whether the temple was dedicated to Athena, the ancient Greek goddess of wisdom. Sezgin remarked that the region on which they were continuing the excavations signaled a carefully selected location for a temple.

“It is not known whether there are Temples of Athena in all of the 12 cities built by the people of Aiol south of İzmir during ancient times. On the other hand, Goddess Athena’s head was depicted on the coins from the Hellenistic-period in Aigai. In this respect, it can be deduced that she was one of the most important and protective goddesses of the city,” he said.

Emphasizing “pagan” beliefs in ancient times, Sezgin stated the discovery of the temple was key in understanding their beliefs. “That is the reason why we seek to understand what kind of a temple and belief Athena had. We think we will gain important information about the beliefs held in the region.

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