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A 2,800-year-old sphinx carved from ivory was discovered in Türkiye

A 2,800-year-old sphinx carved from ivory was discovered in Türkiye

The artifact comes from an Iron Age settlement near Hattusa. The settlement was founded after the Hittites left the city. – Writes live sciences.

In Turkey, archaeologists have discovered an ornately carved 2,800-year-old elephant tusk that may have once been an Iron Age “powerhouse.” The ivory relief depicts the mythical Sphinx – a human head on the body of a winged lion – partly representing a real lion and two tall plants that may represent the mythical tree of life. Although this artifact dates back to the Iron Age, it was found in an archaeological layer above a much older city, the abandoned Bronze Age Hittite capital of Hattusa.

Archaeologists estimate that the piece carved from an elephant’s tusk is about 2,800 years old.Source:

According to Andread Schachner, an archaeologist at the German Archaeological Institute who has led excavations at Hattusa since 2006, the artifact shows that the Iron Age settlement at the site was an important place, even though it was founded after the Hittites abandoned the city around 1200 B.C., During the collapse of the Late Bronze Age. It is possible, for example, that this place is no longer a small town, but rather a more important place, perhaps a ‘power centre’.

The artifact was found in a layer of soil from an Iron Age settlement above the Bronze Age Hittite city of Hattusa.Source:

The artwork is about 30 centimeters long and 10 centimeters wide, and Schachner said it could be part of a piece of furniture. It may have been a wooden box or a decoration for a wooden bed in its time. The work is broken on the right and left sides, and the upper and lower sides are in their original shape. Therefore, it is possible that it was longer.

The ivory depicts the mythical sphinx and lion, with two tall plants that may represent the mythical tree of life.Source:

Iron Age settlement

Schachner said the piece was unique among the finds. The site is located near the Turkish village of Bogazköy, 145 kilometers east of Ankara. Extensive excavations have been carried out on the Iron Age levels of Bogazköy, but such detailed results have never been found before.

The symbols carved into the piece may show that the settlement may have been in contact with other cultures at the time. After completing the scientific study of the ivory sculpture, it will be displayed in the Boğazköy Museum.

(Source: Live Science:

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