Archaeologists in Turkey have discovered a 2,400-year old Dionysus mask

Archaeologists in Turkey have discovered a 2,400-year old Dionysus mask

Archaeologists in western Turkey have discovered a well-preserved terracotta mask of Dionysus, the Greco-Roman god of fertility and wine, which appears to date back to the end of the 4th Century B.C.

The mask was discovered by a team led by Kaan Iren, an archaeologist at Mugla Sitki Kocman University, during excavations of the ancient city of Daskyleion’s acropolis.

It is believed that it may be a votive mask which would have been used during winemaking rituals.

Ancient legends suggested that wearing a mask of Dionysus would free worshippers from any hidden desires or regrets.

This idea of liberation led in part to the development of Dionysian theater, encouraging actors to fully ‘become’ their characters on stage.

Earlier this year, Iren and his colleagues uncovered a 2,700 year old Lydian kitchen cellar in Daskyleion’s acropolis and are currently analysing organic matter from the soil around the structure to gain insight into the city’s cuisine.

Daskyleion was named after Lydian King Dascylus and was established around the time of the Trojan War, eventually becoming controlled by the Phrygians, Lydians, Persians and Macedonians.

During its peak in 546 B.C., Daskyleion was an administrative centre for the Persian Empire. After Alexander the Great’s forces arrived in 334 B.C. the city began to shift towards Hellenistic culture.

Our In The Footsteps Of Alexander The Great tour explores the myths and reality that surround Alexander the Great as we follow in the footsteps of his army, starting at Granicus, heading south along the Ionian Coast and ending by tracing the liberation of the Lycian Valley.

Pictured: The ampitheatre at Termessos on our In The Footsteps of Alexander The Great tour

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Added: 30th September 2020

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