A 2,500-year-old temple of Aphrodite was recently unearthed by a team of Turkish archaeologists at a dig in the Urla-Cesme peninsula of western Turkey.
The ancient Greek temple dedicated to the goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite, was located just outside of the city of Izmir, or Smyrna.
The first remnants of this temple were discovered in 2016 after archaeologists began to conduct extensive searches over a large area measuring 1,600 square meters (17,220 square feet) in the province.
Throughout their work surveying the enormous plot of land, archaeologists have found a wealth of artifacts left by the region’s ancient residents.
In total, remnants from 35 settlements from the prehistoric period, 16 of which are from the Late Neolithic period, have been unearthed in the province of western Turkey.
Professor Elif Koparal from Mimar Sinan University, the leader of the excavations, spoke to Turkey’s Andalou News Agency about the remarkable finds archaeologists have discovered in the region.
“During our screening of the surface, we detected the Aphrodite temple from the sixth century B.C. Aphrodite was a commonly worshiped figure back then. It is a fascinating and impressive discovery,” Koparal stated.
Remains of 2,500-year-old Aphrodite temple discovered in Turkey's Izmir
▪️The remains of Aphrodite temple dating back 6th century B.C were unearthed after excavations in Izmir province.
▪️The discovery revealed a historically important social and economic network, experts said. pic.twitter.com/XC8ElO3pGh
— EHA News (@eha_news) January 3, 2021
The archaeologist added that researchers have found evidence of an extensive ancient social and economic network in the province.
As the looting of artifacts is known to be widespread and prevalent in the country, Koparal worked to gain the trust of local residents, creating a network of people who protected the priceless finds from thieves.