Archaeologists Find Lost 1800-Year-Old Statue In Surprising Condition


Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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The Greek Ministry of Culture recently revealed the 2023 discovery of the almost perfectly-preserved statue head of Apollo, son of Zeus.

An excavation team run by the Aristotle University (AU) in Thessaloniki, Greece, found the statue’s head in September 2023 at the Philippi UNESCO World Heritage Site, according to a press release.

“The moment of the discovery was thrilling,” AU archaeologist Anastasios Tantsis told All That’s Interesting. “[The students] were really enthusiastic. We believe that even though these are moments of special importance for us too, sharing them with our students adds to the thrill.”

Images shared on social media by the Greek Ministry of Culture showed the massive excavation site and artifacts. The head of Apollo is in near perfect condition except for a missing nose and the disappearance of his body. The statue was preliminarily dated to around the 2nd or 3rd century, according to the post.

Philippi was founded in 356 B.C., according to the Smithsonian Magazine. It’s founder, King Philip II, was the father of Alexander the Great. Many associate the city with the founding of Christianity due to the exceptional artifacts that remain there.

The city was partially destroyed by an earthquake is 620, A.D. before the Ottomans pretty much forced it to be abandoned in the 14th century, the magazine read. Along with Apollo, sculptures of Hercules have also been found at the site.

“It is very early to determine the connotations of both figures in a medieval urban context,” Tantsis told All That’s Interesting, referring to both Apollo and Hercules. “It is safe to assume that they were seen primarily as works of ancient (and certainly great) art attesting to historical and cultural continuity.” (RELATED: New Netflix Show Makes Ancient Hero, Like, Super Gay)

More digging and data is needed to understand why these Greek Gods were so intertwined with Christianity. The research team hope to find more information about the area where the sculptures specifically stood at the site and if this sheds light on this cultural crossover.