Six ancient Greek statues discovered in Magnesia on the Meander river in southwestern Turkey

Α Decrease font Enlarge font
Six ancient Greek statues discovered in Magnesia on the Meander river in southwestern TurkeyFemale and male statues were unearthed in the ruins of a temple to Artemis

Six statues dating back 2,000 years were discovered Saturday in the ruins of the ancient Greek city of Magnesia, situated in southwestern Aydın province's Germencik district, according to Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah.

Professor Orhan Bingöl, who has been overseeing the excavations in the site since 1984, said four female and one male statues were unearthed in the ruins of a temple to Artemis, adding that one of the statues' gender was unknown.

Bingöl specified that all statues were found in the same area and were in good condition of preservation, placed face-down next to each other.

"We know that, along with the ones being displayed in Istanbul, Izmir and Aydın, there have been nearly 50 statues unearthed from Magnesia ruins. This discovery will not be the end of it and clearly shows we can find more statues in this particular area," he noted.

The first excavations in Magnesia were conducted between 1891 and 1893 by a German archaeological team led by Carl Humann. The work lasted 21 months and partially unearthed the theater, the Artemis temple, the agora, the Zeus temple and the prytaneion. Excavations were resumed at the site, after an interval of almost 100 years, in 1984, by Bingöl.

History of Magnesia on the Meander

Magnesia or Magnesia on the Maeander was an ancient Greek city in Ionia, considerable in size, at an important location commercially and strategically in the triangle of Priene, Ephesus and Tralles. The city was named Magnesia, after the Magnetes from Thessaly who settled the area along with some Cretans. It was later called "on the Meander" to distinguish it from the nearby Lydian city Magnesia ad Sipylum.

The territory around Magnesia was extremely fertile, and produced excellent wine, figs, and cucumbers. It was built on the slope of Mount Thorax, on the banks of the small river Lethacus, a tributary of the Maeander river upstream from Ephesus. It was 15 miles from the city of Miletus.The ruins of the city are located west of the modern village Tekin in the Germencik district of Aydın Province, Turkey.

Magnesia lay within Ionia, but because it had been settled by Aeolians from Greece, was not accepted into the Ionian League. Magnesia may have been ruled for a time by the Lydians, and was for some time under the control of the Persians, and subject to Cimmerian raids. In later years, Magnesia supported the Romans in the Second Mithridatic War.

Magnesia soon attained great power and prosperity, so as to be able to cope even with a challenge from Ephesus. However, the city was taken and destroyed by the Cimmerians, some time between 726 BC and 660 BC. The deserted site was soon reoccupied, and rebuilt by the Milesians or, according to Athenaeus, by the Ephesians. The Persian satraps of Lydia also occasionally resided in the place.

In the fifth century BC, the exiled Athenian Themistocles came to Persia to offer his services to Artaxerxes, and was given control of Magnesia to support his family.

The name "magnet" may come from lodestones found in Magnesia.

In the time of the Romans, Magnesia was added to the kingdom of Pergamon, after Antiochus had been driven eastward beyond Mount Taurus. After this time the town seems to have declined and is rarely mentioned, though it is still noticed by Pliny and Tacitus.  Hierocles ranks it among the bishoprics of the province of Asia, and later documents seem to imply that at one time it bore the name of Maeandropolis. The existence of the town in the time of the emperors Aurelius and Gallienus is attested to by coins.

Landmarks of Magnesia

Magnesia contained a temple of Dindymene, the mother of the gods; the wife or daughter of Themistocles was said to have been a priestess of that divinity.

Strabo later noted the temple no longer existed, the town having been transferred to another place. The change in the site of the town alluded to by Strabo, is not noticed by other contemporary authors, however some suggest that Magnesia was moved from the banks of the Meander to a place at the foot of Mount Thorax three miles from the river.

The new town which Strabo saw was remarkable for its temple of Artemis Leucophryene, which in size and the number of its treasures was surpassed by the temple of Ephesus, but in beauty and the harmony of its parts was superior to all the temples in Asia Minor. The temple to Artemis is said by Vitruvius to have been built by the architect Hermogenes, in the Ionic style. Following a theophany of the goddess Artemis in the 3rd century B.C., the temple and the city were recognised as a place of asylia by other Greek states. 

Little remains of either temple today. The site of Magnesia on the Maeander was once identified with the modern Güzelhisar; since then the ruins of a temple to Artemis were found at Inck-bazar, and the latter is considered a more likely site.

Modern excavations

The first excavations at the archaeological site were performed during 1891 and 1893 by a German archaeological team conducted by Carl Humann, discoverer of the Pergamon Altar. These lasted 21 months and partially revealed the theatre, the Artemis temple, the agora, the Zeus temple and the prytaneion. Excavations were resumed at the site, after an interval of almost 100 years, in 1984, by Orhan Bingöl of the University of Ankara and the Turkish Ministry of Culture.

Findings from the site are now displayed in Istanbul and Aydın, as well as in Berlin and Paris. Copies of the portico (pronaos) of the Zeus temple and of a bay of the Artemis temple can be visited in the Pergamonmuseum in Berlin. Much of the architectural remains of Magnesia were destroyed long ago by local lime burners. The well preserved remains of the Zeus temple have been destroyed by local residents even after Humann's excavation campaign.

In July 2018, six Greek statues discovered. Four female, one male and one with unknown gender were unearthed in the ruins of a temple of Artemis.

Photo Source: dailysabah.com/AA

Tornos
  1. 22/10 21:33

    Minister announced rise in one-third of supplementary pensions in Greece

  2. 22/10 21:23

    EBRD issues €150 million 'green bond' to Greek constructor Terna Energy

  3. 22/10 21:12

    Controversial refugee and migrant asylum bill goes to Greek parliament

  4. 22/10 20:41

    World's newest cruise ship Sky Princess in Greek port of Piraeus

  5. 22/10 20:03

    Ancient bath complex unearthed in Greece’s lost city of Tenea

  6. 22/10 19:55

    Bill proposal on Airbnb - type rentals tabled for plenary vote in Greece

  7. 22/10 19:48

    EC President Juncker: We gave back to Greece the dignity it deserves

  8. 22/10 19:39

    Mid-season sales to last between November 1-15 in Greece

  9. 22/10 18:44

    Greece records significant fall in unemployment numbers

  10. 22/10 18:22

    New hurdle for New Democracy government plan for Greeks abroad vote

  11. 22/10 18:06

    Diving Tourism: New destination between Skiathos and Pelion in Greece

  12. 22/10 17:54

    The HOME Project Greece wins 2020 Child 10 Award

  13. 22/10 17:31

    BoG: Greek travel receipts grew by 16.1% to €4.183 billion in August 2019

  14. 22/10 17:01

    Infographic: The longest non-stop flights worldwide

  15. 22/10 16:52

    Greek president stresses role of national benefactors at opening of Martinos Hall

  16. 22/10 16:42

    Greek financial markets eye upgrades of credit rating in the next few weeks

  17. 22/10 16:18

    Greenhouse project for young businessmen in Greece supported by THI

  18. 22/10 16:09

    Greek State Power Company to implement discounts on electricity rates

  19. 22/10 14:24

    Greek Deputy Minister and US Ambassador talk cooperation in sports

  20. 22/10 10:11

    Yields for the Greek 10-year bond drop to record low of 1.268%

  21. 21/10 22:52

    Cruiseship arrivals and departures at Greek port of Piraeus up by 14.6%

  22. 21/10 22:46

    Greek State about to concede 15-20% stake in HELPE through the bourse

  23. 21/10 22:40

    'Joker' movie sparks social media and political mini-furor in Greece

  24. 21/10 22:33

    Ariston Foundation and NHSA present 2019 Academic Scholarship winners

  25. 21/10 22:27

    ELSTAT: General government surplus at €1.8 billion in Greece during 2018

  26. 21/10 22:20

    AP: European Union considering UK Brexit delay request

  27. 21/10 22:09

    New Museum of Contemporary Art near the center of Athens

  28. 21/10 21:16

    Greek president inaugurates exhibition of personal effects of WWII soldiers

  29. 21/10 21:12

    Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis to visit city of Thessaloniki on Tuesday

  30. 21/10 21:05

    72nd FEMTEC Congress on Thermal Medicine and Thalassotherapy in Greece

  31. 21/10 19:04

    Deputy FM on Greeks voting abroad: Government doing what is “self-evident”

  32. 21/10 17:51

    Greek tennis champion Sakkari climbs to 22nd place in WTA rankings

  33. 21/10 15:54

    Regional governor of Attica meets with EU Commissioner for migration

  34. 21/10 14:01

    Seven new hotels with 5,000 beds to be constructed by Costa Navarino in Greece

  35. 21/10 13:33

    Greek Investment Minister signs updated cooperation framework in China

  36. 21/10 12:28

    Pineios River bridge at Tempi in mainland Greece to close for eight months

  37. 21/10 11:09

    Scope Ratings upgrades Greece's long-term ratings to BB with positive outlook

  38. 20/10 20:39

    Elios Charitable Foundation presents 12th Hellenic Charity Ball in California

  39. 20/10 12:57

    Hudson Odysseus AHEPA Chapter 545 hosts event for Holy Cross Youth in New York

  40. 20/10 12:50

    PM: Sustainable tourism growth in Greece to become the best in the world

  41. 20/10 12:44

    Hellenic Relief Foundation and Hellenic American Opera Company concert on November 23

  42. 20/10 12:40

    European Maritime Law Organisation annual conference takes place in Limassol

  43. 20/10 12:36

    Trolley work stoppage in Athens on Wednesday

  44. 20/10 12:30

    World’s first Female Spacewalking Team from NASA makes history

  45. 20/10 12:18

    Government's VAT plan freezes construction sector across Greece

  46. 20/10 12:12

    Parliament vote forces UK to postpone Brexit after October 31 (videos)

  47. 20/10 12:04

    Finance Ministry: Reach of 'social dividend' may grow in Greece

  48. 20/10 10:52

    National Hellenic Society celebrates Hellenism and its 10th Anniversary in the US

  49. 19/10 21:27

    Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Inaugurates Byzantine Cities Network in Thessaloniki

  50. 19/10 21:23

    Cyprus Foreign Ministry issues travel advice for Lebanon after protests

  51. 19/10 21:15

    Greek Interior Minister sends parties proposals for Greek voters living abroad

  52. 19/10 20:46

    “Happiness Machine: 24 Hours of Bliss with the Klangforum Wien” at the OCC in Athens

  53. 19/10 20:42

    Greek Tourism Minister talks sustainability with Santorini island officials

  54. 19/10 20:22

    Problems in settling social security debts for professionals in Greece

  55. 19/10 19:14

    Hirings in health sector among relevant ministry's immediate priorities in Greece

  56. 19/10 15:21

    Greek draft budget foresees 5% reduction on corporate tax pre-payment

  57. 19/10 15:13

    Lamda Development adds new player in Hellinikon project in Athens

  58. 19/10 15:04

    European Union launches Connecting Europe Facility call worth €1.4 billion

  59. 19/10 14:33

    Greek olives and olive oils exempted from latest US tariffs

  60. 18/10 20:37

    Greek olive oil more attractive in the US than Spain's

  61. 18/10 20:21

    Greek businesses to pay 30% less tax on average in 2019

  62. 18/10 19:50

    Scientists discover Greek island of Naxos was inhabited at least 200,000 years ago

  63. 18/10 19:33

    Virtuoso | Luxury tourism: Greece among top destinations in the world for 2020

  64. 18/10 19:21

    20,000 migrants and refugees transferred from islands to Greek mainland

  65. 18/10 19:14

    Tourism/ IPK-ITB: Asia remains the biggest tourism growth market

  66. 18/10 18:35

    Prime Minister: EU leaders adopted Greece's position on managing migration

  67. 18/10 18:28

    Marriott buys iconic hotel W in New York

  68. 18/10 18:01

    City break tourism report: Athens Riviera dream draws closer to reality

  69. 18/10 16:40

    General Manager at the Brown Acropol Hotel in Athens

  70. 18/10 13:24

    EU to support member-states facing gravest challenges from migration flows

  71. 18/10 12:44

    United Nations Day in Greece to be marked on October 24

  72. 18/10 12:16

    Discover Greece presents Aegean islands

  73. 18/10 10:07

    Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew: The climate crisis concerns all of us

  74. 17/10 20:32

    New York Greek Film Festival opens with attractive artistic program

  75. 17/10 20:28

    Greece and China sign updated economic cooperation framework for 2020-22

  76. 17/10 19:59

    Navarino Challenge 2019: 2,700 participations from 40 countries

  77. 17/10 17:06

    Cystat: More Cypriot residents travelled overseas in September

  78. 17/10 17:03

    Tourist arrivals in Cyprus grow by 0.9% in September 2019

  79. 17/10 16:57

    Embassy of Greece in Washington presents Zeus the Mighty show on November 2

  80. 17/10 16:55

    CNN Travel reveals Greece’s top villages to visit

  81. 17/10 16:50

    Bank of Greece: Budget recorded primary surplus of €3.9 billion in Jan-Sept

  82. 17/10 16:45

    AP: UK and EU reach outline Brexit deal which still needs ratification

  83. 17/10 16:39

    National Theatre in Athens puts on seven English-surtitled performances

  84. 17/10 16:33

    More control and less waiting: Top priorities for airplane passengers

  85. 17/10 16:29

    Air China to continue three flights every week to Greece during the winter

  86. 17/10 16:23

    Greece and France sign letter of intent for purchase of two FDI frigates

  87. 17/10 12:18

    Reuters: Wind Hellas bonds could be used for dividend payments

  88. 17/10 12:13

    Veteran anchorman honored at New York City Greek Film Festival

  89. 17/10 11:58

    Enjoy a taste of Greece in Qatar

  90. 17/10 11:45

    Ancient Greek mathematics unveil the most beautiful woman in the world

  91. 17/10 11:41

    2020 Greek state budget draft foresees 5% drop in corporate income tax

  92. 17/10 11:36

    Winter heating oil 11% cheaper as sales commence in Greece

  93. 17/10 11:31

    Greek Prime Minister in Brussels for European Union Summit

  94. 17/10 11:23

    Greece’s economy forecast to grow faster than Australia’s in 2019

  95. 17/10 11:08

    Interparty committee on voting rights of Greeks abroad holds first meeting

  96. 16/10 20:49

    RWE CEO's high-level contacts in Athens drive speculation over PPC interest

  97. 16/10 20:29

    President launches events for 2,500th anniversary of Thermopylae and Salamis

  98. 16/10 20:17

    New survey: Fewer Greeks smoke during last decade

  99. 16/10 20:08

    PM sends message of unity on 2,500-year anniversary of Thermopylae and Salamis

  100. 16/10 19:44

    France blocks EU membership ambitions of North Macedonia and Albania