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Sep 25, 2013 10:03 AM EDT

UNL Team Unearth Statue Head of Goddess Aphrodite in Turkey

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A University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) archaeological team led by art history Professor Michael Hoff discovered a life-size marble head of the ancient Greek goddess 'Aphrodite' at a site called Antiochia ad Cragum (Antioch of the cliffs), on the Mediterranean coast, in southern Turkey, this summer.

 Although, the sculptures' beautiful features were still intact, some parts of the nose and face were chipped off as it was buried under the soil for more than a hundred years. The team did not find the sculpture's body. They believe it must have burnt in a lime kiln, many centuries ago.

"We have niches where statues once were. We just didn't have any statues," Hoff said. "Finally, we have the head of a statue. It suggests something of how mainstream these people were who were living here, how much they were a part of the overall Greek and Roman traditions," Hoff said.

Hoff said that the Aphrodite's head is the only piece of a monumental statue found over the eight-year archaeological dig at the site of Antiochia ad Cragnum, a prehistoric Mediterranean city that once comprised of 8,000 people.

The statue head of the goddess of love and beauty was uncovered lying face-down in more than a millennium of soil, during recent excavations. The researchers claimed that the marble head might have remained separated from its body for a long time.

They found traces of lime kilns near the site which indicates that several statues and hunks of stone would have been burned to be reused in concrete.

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