A Harvard-Cornell archeological team has unearthed a marble monument celebrating the Lydian goddess Cebele in its excavations at the ruins of Sardis in southeastern Turkey.
The two-foot high sculpture, which shows Cebele surrounded by several other figures, was found by David Mitten, a Harvard instructor in Fine Arts.
Because of the fine detail of the relief in which the figures are depicted, the monument is regarded as rivaling the fines Greek sculptures of the sixth century B.C.
One of Several
The piece is one of several that have been found in a second century A.D. synagogue uncovered by the excavators last year. Most of the finds, like the sculpture of Cebele, date from the reign of Croesus.
Excavations are also being made north of Sardis, where the Harvard-Cornell team hopes to reach a Lydian burial chamber sometime next year.
The expedition is headed by George M.A. Hanfmann, professor of Fine Arts, and co-sponsored by the Fogg Art Museum.