German Archeologists Unearth 600 Seals and Amulets in Ancient Turkish TempleBy Staff Reporter
Archaeologists have discovered several religious seals and amulets in an ancient temple in Turkey.
Calling the finding 'unparalleled,' researchers have uncovered more than 600 stamp seals and amulets at the site. These artifacts including cylinder seals and scarabs date back to between 7th and 4th centuries BC and were made out of glass, stone and quartz.
They feature different themes ranging from astral symbols and geometric designs depicting animals and people.
University of Münster archaeologists Engelbert Winter and Michael Blömer led the excavation atop mountain Dülük Baba Tepesi, in the Gaziantep region of south central Turkey, close to the Syrian border.
'Such large amounts of seal consecrations are unheard-of in any comparable sanctuary', Winter said in a press release. 'The amazingly large number proves how important seals and amulets were for the worshipping of the god to whom they were consecrated as votive offerings."
"Thus, they provide a surprisingly vivid and detailed insight into the faith of the time."
The artifacts, identified as late Babylonian, local Syrian Achaemenid and Levantine seals, were found at the sacred site of the storm and weather god Jupiter Dolichenus, one of the most important deities of the Roman Empire.
One artifact displayed a group of men praying around astral symbols, while the other showed a royal hero fighting animals and hybrid creatures.
'The results are already extending our knowledge of all periods in this holy place's long history,' Winter said. 'It covers the time span from the early place of worship of the Iron Age and the sacred site of the Roman era, famous throughout the empire, to the long phase of utilization as a Christian monastery, which existed until well into the time of the crusaders.'