Archaeologists unearthed two 2,500-year-old marble statues and an inscription during excavations at the Temple of Zeus Lepsynos, one of the best-preserved Roman temples of Asia Minor, in Turkey's western Muğla province.
Built in the second century B.C., the temple is located in the ancient city of Euromos.
Abuzer Kızıl, head of the excavation committee and faculty member at Muğla Sıtkı Kocman University's department of archeology, told Anadolu Agency (AA) Sunday that the artifacts were found unexpectedly during the restoration efforts, and came as a surprise to the world of archaeology.
"We have unearthed two very important links of the missing archaic sculpture of the Caria region, and an inscription dating to the Hellenistic period," he said.
Kızıl added that the sculptures were categorized as kouros, a modern term given to free-standing ancient Greek sculptures.
"One of the two kouroi unearthed at Euromos is naked, the other is wearing armor and a short skirt. The armor is made of leather and it is remarkable that both statues have a lion in their hands. Iconographically, the lion holds great significance ... we have not been able to find exact copies of either of the statues so far," Kızıl said.
He said the naked statue has a lion in his hand indicating it is most likely Apollo.
Kızıl said the inscription from the Hellenistic period is expected to reveal important insights on the Carian history, and efforts to decipher it are continuing.
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