A Turkish site where a 2,100-year-old statue from the same civilization as King Midas was once unearthed is now in danger of being dynamited by a quarry dig.
Kurul Castle in the Turkish Black Sea port city of Ordu is close to the construction of an andesite quarry, archaeologists and environmental groups warn.
In 2016, excavations revealed an ancient marble mother goddess sculpture of Kybele in Kurul Castle, one of the first archaeological digs in the region.
Now, in that same area, dynamiting is blowing up historic sepulchers, or rock tombs, further threatening the remaining areas, including Kurul Castle, Turkish daily Hurriyet reports.
“We don’t know who to complain to, or what to do,” local environmentalists have said.
“Every day, those responsible for the stone quarry destroy the historic castle’s foothills with dynamite. We are anxiously waiting to see if the castle will crumble,” they added according to the Turkish paper.
Kybele, sometimes referred to Cybele in Greek and Roman writings after her worship spread west across the Mediterranean, is an Anatolian mother goddess thought to have been revered by the Phrygians: a civilization which inhabited central Turkey not far from the Black Sea.
Dominant in the region from circa 1200 BCE to 700 BCE, the Phrygian civilization has ties to ancient Western mythology.
The famous King Midas, whose touch was able to turn ordinary objects to gold, was said to have been a Phrygian king.
Other notable mythological figures include King Gordias, the man who created the Gordian Knot that Alexander the Great so famously unraveled; while in the Iliad, the Phrygians were said to have been allies of the Trojans, coming to their aid during the Trojan War.