Archaeologists In Western Turkey Discover 2,400 Year Old Ancient Greek Mask Of Dionysus

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Archaeologists In Western Turkey Discover 2,400 Year Old Ancient Greek Mask Of Dionysus

Photos: Left: Excavations in the ancient city of Daskyleion, Balıkesir; Right: The terracotta mask of the ancient Greek god Dionysus, found at the ancient city of Daskyleion, Balıkesir, western Turkey, Sept. 6, 2020. (AA PHOTOS)

Archaeologists excavating in western Turkey have made the remarkable find of a terracotta mask dating back 2,400 years. The mask is said to depict the Greek God Dionysus.

The discovery took place in the ancient city of Daskyleion in the western Balıkesir province. The area was 2,400 years ago the site of a Greek settlement and therefore has been the source of numerous discoveries related to Ancient Greek society. Daskyleion itself is located at the shore of Lake Manyas and was named by Gyges in the 7th century B.C after the Lydian King, Daskylos.

Dionysius was the God of festivity, fertility, wine-making and religious ecstasy, amongst other things, and is therefore associated with hedonism and wild drunken parties. In ancient Greek society, there were often festival rituals praising Dionysius at the time of grape harvests, which were used for wine production.

The Ancient Romans later had a similar incarnation of Dionysus in the form of Bacchus who also took on the role of a hedonistic spiritual figure, as with Dionysus he was strongly associated with harvests and wine production.

Kaan Iren, an archaeologist working on the project, said that the mask was most likely a 'votive mask' and that people would sometimes wear such masks as a way of freeing themselves from secret desires or regrets. A sort of ancient version of personal confession. Dionysus himself was famed for being able to hide his true identity, possibly thereby admonishing him of any social shame or stigma related to the enjoyment of hedonistic pleasures.

Iren also outlined that evidence of ancient food consumption is also being obtained from where the mask was discovered. He reported:

"Work continues to obtain seeds and other organic parts from the excavated soil in the Lydian kitchen and its surroundings through a flotation process."

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Thinking Humanity: Archaeologists In Western Turkey Discover 2,400 Year Old Ancient Greek Mask Of Dionysus
Archaeologists In Western Turkey Discover 2,400 Year Old Ancient Greek Mask Of Dionysus
Archaeologists excavating in western Turkey have made the remarkable find of a terracotta mask dating back 2,400 years.
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