A 2,400-Year-Old Mask of Greek God Dionysus found in Anatolia

Mask of Greek God Dionysus

A terracotta mask dating back nearly 2,400 years has been found during excavations in the ancient city of Daskyleion (Ancient Greek: Δασκύλιον, Δασκυλεῖον), the leader of the dig reported.

Archaeologist Kaan Iren, who heads the excavation team told Anadolu Agency that a mask of the ancient Greek god Dionysus, found in the city’s acropolis, is one of this year's most interesting findings.

“This is possibly a votive mask. More information will become available over time with more research,” said Iren, a professor at Muğla Sıtkı Koçman University.

Associated with wine, music, ritual madness, ecstasy, and theater, the Greek party god Dionysus was very popular in ancient Greece.

Legend has it that wearing a mask pays homage to Dionysus, the Greek god of carnivals and masquerades, by allowing you to free yourself from secret desires and buried regrets.

Daskyleion is located on the shore of Lake Manyas in the Bandırma district of Balıkesir, from when Asia Minor had many ancient Greek settlements.

daskyleion map

Excavations have shown that the site was inhabited in the Bronze Age. Phrygians settled there before 750 BC. It came under the control of Lydia. It was then said to be named after Dascylus, the father of Gyges.

After the Conquests of Cyrus the Great in 547 BC, Dascylium was chosen as the seat of the Persian satrapy of Hellespontine Phrygia, comprising lands of the Troad, Mysia and Bithynia.

Pharnabazus was satrap of Darius III there, until Alexander the Great appointed Calas, who was replaced by Arrhidaeus in the Treaty of Triparadisus.

GCT Team

This article was researched and written by a GCT team member.