Columns To Be Excavated At Ancient Lagina In Western Turkey


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Excavations are continuing to restore more than 20 ancient columns at the 3,000-year-old Lagina Sanctuary, a town in the territory of Stratonikeia, located in the Turkish western Muğla province.

Credit: BIK

The sanctuary holds worldwide significance for being home to the largest temple built in honour of Hekate, the Greek goddess variously associated with crossroads, entrance-ways, light, magic, witchcraft, knowledge of herbs and poisonous plants, ghosts, necromancy, and sorcery.
The temple is mentioned by the Greek geographer and traveller Strabo: "Stratonikeia [in Karia, Asia Minor] is a settlement of Makedonians... There are two temples in the country of the Stratonikeians, of which the most famous, that of Hekate, is at Lagina; and it draws great festal assemblies every year."


Credit: BIK

The Seleucid kings conducted a considerable reconstruction effort in the sacred ground of Lagina and transformed it into a foremost religious centre of its time, with the nearby site of Stratonicea becoming the administrative centre. The two sites (Lagina and Stratonkeia) were connected to each other in antiquity by a holy path.
Bilal Söğüt, who heads the excavations at the Lagina Sanctuary, told Anadolu Agency that the team will unearth the columns at the site.

Credit: BIK

"Our major work here is to unearth the temple, altar and ceremonial areas within the Lagina Hekate sanctuary," Söğüt said.

He said that they want visitors to be able to see all of the columns, which are 2,000 years old.

The friezes of the Hekate sanctuary, displayed in the Istanbul Archaeology Museums, depict scenes from the life of Zeus, the gigantomachia (battle between gods and giants) and a battle between the Greeks and Amazons.

Source: Daily Sabah [May 14, 2019]
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