A statue of the Ancient Greek god of health Asclepius and a bust of the god Zeus-Serapis were found during an excavations in the ancient city of Cibyra (Greek: Κιβύρα), also referred to as Cibyra Magna, in southern Polydorion (Πολυδώριον, Turkish: Burdur) province.
Stating that the discovery of the statuette of Asclepius and the bust of Zeus-Serapis in Cibyra is very important, the head of excavations, Mehmet Akif Ersoy University (MAKU) Archeology Department faculty member Şükrü Özüdoğru said:
“The Asclepius statue was found during excavations in the Kaisarion [Emperor Cult Temple] structure in Kibyra. This 38-centimeter-high figurine was unearthed in six pieces in a fire layer during excavations.”
“These pieces were integrated after careful cleaning, conservation and consolidation by experts,” he added.
Stating that it is known that Kibyra was once a very famous city in the field of medicine according to ancient sources and referring to the inscriptions found in Kibyra, Özüdoğru said:
“The statue has verified what we know about it. The figurine was traced back to 2nd century A.D.”
Stating that during the excavations carried out in the Roman Bath Complex in Kibyra in 2019, a bust without a head made of Afyon marble was found and it was taken under protection in the excavation house.
“In the 2020 excavation season, a bearded head was found during the short-term cleaning and excavation work in the same part of the Roman Bath Complex,” Özüdoğru said.
“This head merged with the bust found in 2019 so that the bust of Serapis was completed in full. It is an Egyptian god with many attributes such as the god of light,” he added, omitting that by this time the worship of Serapis was combined with Zeus.
He said that the statue of Asklepios and the bust of Zeus-Serapis, delivered to the Burdur Archeology Museum, will be displayed in the coming days
Asclepius was the ancient Greek god of medicine, and he was also credited with powers of prophecy.
The god had several sanctuaries across Greece.
The most famous was at Epidaurus which became an important centre of healing in both ancient Greek and Roman times and was the site of athletic, dramatic, and musical games held in Asclepius’ honour every four years.
Zeus-Serapis is a Greco-Egyptian god of the Underworld and fertility. He is also the main deity of Alexandria in northern Egypt, established by Alexander the Great.