Monday, October 19, 2009

Possible Nemesis Temple Found in Turkey

Story from Hurriyet News Goddess of divine retribution awaits daylight Monday, October 12, 2009 İZMİR - Anatolia News Agency Archaeologists have found traces of a temple built for the Greek goddess of divine retribution, Nemesis, during excavations in the ancient city of Agora in the Aegean port city of İzmir. Akın Ersoy of Dokuz Eylül University’s archaeology department and heading the archaeological excavations in the ancient city, told the Anatolia news agency on Monday that they speculated there might be a temple built for Nemesis in the area. “We found traces of such a temple during our excavations in Agora,” he said. “We want to concentrate our work to unearth the temple in the future.” This year's archeological excavations have unearthed many important findings that belonged to the Ottoman era, said Ersoy, including many pieces of Ottoman ceramics. “There are several layers to be worked,” said Ersoy. “We will work on the Ottoman era first, followed by the Eastern Roman, Roman and then the earlier ages.” Ersoy said it was during the excavation work when they found clues of a temple to Nemesis built in the ancient city. “We think the temple is situated on the western side,” he added. “It might be under the Hürriyet Anatolian High School building. We hope to unearth it in coming years.” In Greek mythology, Nemesis was the spirit of divine retribution against those who succumb to hubris, vengeful fate, personified as a remorseless goddess. The ancient city of Agora was constructed during the rule of Alexander the Great. Today it is mostly in ruins. What little is left remains because of Faustina, wife of Marcus Aurelius, who had the Agora rebuilt after an earthquake devastated the original in A.D. 178. The Agora was first excavated by German and Turkish archaeologists between 1932 and 1941. Surrounded on the west and north by colonnades, the Agora once had a large altar dedicated to Zeus in the center. The altar is now gone, but statues of Poseidon and of Demeter believed to have come from the altar are on display in the Archaeological Museum in İzmir. Also visible at the site are various capitals, remnants of three of the four main gates, some recognizable stalls, architectural fragments bearing medieval coats of arms and a stone slab that may have been used as a gaming board. What kind of possible game board? Can it be dated to Alexander the Great's time, or is it perhaps part of Faustina's rebuild? Photos - we need photos!

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