Archaeologists in western Turkey have unearthed a 1,800-year-old marble statue from the ancient ruins of Metropolis, known as ‘City of the Mother Goddess’ during the Rom, though more work needs to be done to uncover the identity of the figure, researchers say.

The current excavation is a collaboration between the ministry and Celal Bayar University in Manisa, Turkey.

Metropolis (Greek for ‘mother state’) was a name bestowed on various cities, though this one is in Western Turkey’s Torbali municipality, about 25 miles from modern-day izmir escort, the country’s third largest city.

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An 1,800-year-old sculpture of a robed woman was discovered in the ruins of Metropolis, an important trade post in West Turkey during the Roman Empire

Humans have occupied the land for at least 8,000 years, since the Neolithic period. 

Artifacts indicate it was inhabited by Hittites during the Bronze Age (when it was known as Puranda), and was also active during the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman periods.

It was founded as Metropolis by the Greeks in roughly 300 BC and, despite its matriarchal name, was home to one of only two known temples devoted to Ares, the Greek god of War.

The sculpture dates to Metropolis’ Roman era—when the empire controlled Anatolia, the portion of Turkey located on the Asian continent.

Roman scientist-philosopher Ptolemy described the town as an important trading post in Lydia, about halfway along the ancient trade routes between Smyrna and Ephesus.

Though the figure’s head and arms are missing archaeologists say she is otherwise quite well-preserved

Field work began in the region in the 1970s, with excavations at Metropolis starting in the mid-1980s.  

Since then, archaeologists have uncovered more than 11,000 artifacts, according to Art News, including coins, ceramics, class, ivory and metal objects.

The city ‘has a deep-rooted history dating back to prehistoric times,’ Celal Bayar University archaeo. 

The Turkish government opened the ‘City of the Mother Goddess’ to tourists . 

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