Two ancient Greek statues dating to the Roman period were discovered in the ancient city of Kibyra (Κιβύρα) located in Polydorion (Πολυδώριον, Turkish: Burdur) province in southwest Turkey.
The local Turkish governorship said that the two ancient Greek deities discovered were Asclepios, the god of medicine and healing, and Zeus-Serapis, the god of light and the sky.
The statue of Asclepios was found in seven pieces. Asclepios was crafted showing long and curly hair, as well as a beard and traditional Greek robe.
In addition to the discovery of Asclepios, a marble bust of Zeus-Serapis was unearthed in two parts in the ancient Greek city.
Although the body of Zeus-Serapis was discovered in 2019, the head was only found later during in the Roman bath complex.
The marble bust is now ready to be put on display following repair works done by restorers on the excavation team.
Uncomfortable with the fact that when you dig in most places in Turkey you will find in one form or another Hellenic or Byzantine heritage and craftmanship, serial Turkish propagandist media outlet Daily Sabah described Zeus-Serapis as “the Egyptian-origin sky god or god of light.”
What the Turkish media outlet omitted is that the creation and worship of Zeus-Serapis, which they insistently only called Serapis, was a creation of Ptolemy I, a friend and historian of Alexander the Great who became ruler of Egypt after the death of the famous general.
“In order to unify the Greeks and the Egyptians under one religion, Ptolemy I and his Greek advisors created a new god called Zeus-Serapis. They combined the already popular Serapis with Zeus, the King of the gods according to Greek and Roman belief. Images of Zeus-Serapis reflected both Greek and Egyptian traditions,” Britain’s Chiddingstone Castle Historic House states.
As the Turkish propaganda outlet admits, the statues are from the Roman period, long after the worship of Serapis was combined with Zeus, meaning the statue is of Zeus-Serapis, and not Serapis. It is even designed in the Hellenistic style.
Ptolemy I founded the Ptolemaic Greek Kingdom in Egypt in 305BC and it would continue to rule Egypt until the death of Cleopatra in 30BC. Cleopatra, living nearly 300 years after Ptolemy I became the first and only of the Ptolemaic rulers to actually learn Egyptian as the ruling and court language was Greek.