Archaeologists in Turkey have unearthed cosmetics and jewelry thousands of years old – and some of the objects are still intact.
The find was discovered in the remains of a 2,000-year-old marketplace east of the well-preserved Temple of Zeus in Anatolia, a site of intense excavation since its rediscovery in 1998.
The archaeologists discovered 10 different shades of ancient Roman makeup pigments, mostly reds and pinks, as well as jewelry, perfume bottles and other cosmetic antiques.
The excavation’s lead archaeologist, Professor Gökhan Coşkun of Dumlupinar University, said ancient Roman makeup was “similar to the blush and eyeshadow used today.”
But the makeup was only a product offered in Coşkun, which was purely a cosmetics store in this classical period Agora (marketplace).
Archaeologists in Turkey have unearthed cosmetics and jewelry dating back thousands of years in the remains of a 2,000-year-old marketplace east of the Temple of Zeus in Anatolia. The find includes 10 different shades of ancient Roman makeup pigments, mostly reds and pinks
The items uncovered also included jewelry, perfume bottles and other cosmetic antiques. Above, archaeologists discover a fountain-like Roman structure at the same ancient excavation site
The ancient beauty shop, which the archaeologists described as “completely exposed,” contained “various beads that belonged to products such as hairpins and necklaces” (above).
“During the excavation here, we came across a large number of perfume bottles,” Coşkun said.
“There are also pieces of jewelry.”
As he told the state-run Turkish news agency Anadolu AjansıThe jewelry included “various beads that belonged to products such as hairpins and necklaces used by women” in the store, which he described as “today.” “completely exposed.”
While Coşkun noted that not all finds were in a “very well-preserved condition” and some were only found as fragments “in 1 or 2 millimeter (0.04 inch) pieces,” some could still fetch a good price today achieve.
“We also found well-preserved pieces during the excavation,” Coşkun said.
Coşkun, who is also the chair of classical archeology at the university, told the news agency that makeup in the Greco-Roman period, including eye shadow and blush, was often stored in oyster shells, like an organic and Mediterranean powder compact.
“In the shop we excavated, we also came across a large number of oyster shells,” said the archaeologist.
The site’s lead archaeologist Gökhan Coşkun, chair of classical archeology at Dumlupinar University, told reporters that makeup in the Greco-Roman period, including eye shadow and blush, was often stored in oyster shells (above), like an organic, Mediterranean powder compact
While Coşkun noted that not all finds were in a “very well-preserved condition” and some were only found as fragments “in 1 or 2 millimeter (0.04 inch) pieces,” some could still fetch a good price today achieve. Coşkun said that some “well-preserved pieces” were found during the excavation
Turkish archaeologists have been working carefully on the ancient site since 2011, taking over the task of the German Archaeological Institute, whose own work from 1970 uncovered, among other things, a theater, five bridges and two public baths.
In 2012, a Turkish delegation to the United Nations nominated the Temple of Zeus – and the entire surrounding ancient city of Aizanoi – for it Inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List as a protected historical site.
“This is a very important city in terms of religion,” Ankara University archaeologist Görkem Kökdemir told Anadolu Ajansı News Agency.
“We can call it the city of ‘gods and goddesses’.”
In 2012, a Turkish UN delegation nominated the Temple of Zeus (above) and the surrounding ancient city of Aizanoi to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List as a preserved historical site. The site was first rediscovered in 1824, but was then lost again
The city was founded in 133 BC. It was conquered by the Romans in the 1st century BC and probably experienced its true heyday in the second and third centuries AD. Above an “Akroterion”, an architectural ornament, in front of the Temple of Zeus. Archaeologists call Aizanoi “the city of gods and goddesses”
“This is what the work carried out so far has revealed,” Kökdemir explained to the news service when he discovered the entrance gate to the Temple of Zeus in September 2021.
“Special shrines have been built here for many gods and goddesses,” he said.
Located about 35 miles from today’s Kütahya city center, the ancient city of Aizanoi’s Temple of Zeus was first rediscovered by European travelers in 1824 and then partially excavated by German archaeologist Karl Humann in the early 1890s.
But the entire ancient metropolis was soon abandoned and was lost again for decades.
Modern excavations throughout the site indicate multi-level settlements dating back to 3000 BC. BC, including the 2,300-year-old Temple of Zeus in the former Greek city of Magnesia.
The city was founded in 133 BC. It was conquered by the Roman Empire in the second and third centuries AD and probably experienced its true heyday.
While Turkish archaeologists have not yet found many classical-period beauty projects at the site, they have identified several sites that Roman citizens may have desired to add glamour: a stadium, a commercial building, several necropolises and the “holy cave of Meter Steune”.
Anadolu Ajansı describes the cave as “a place of worship believed to have existed before the first century BC. was used”.
“In ancient cities, people worshiped not just one deity, but several gods or goddesses,” said Kökdemir.
“In Magnesia, the first deity is Artemis and the second deity is Zeus.”
“It’s very significant, it’s the second most important cult.” [of Magnesia].’
According to reports, the management of the excavation project has been given to the Kutahya Museum Directorate authority since 2021.