Sunday, September 29, 2013


A Medusa mosaic that was unearthed in 2009 in the Odeon structure in the Turkish city of Kibyra, had been kept away, untouched, for years. 

Now, for the first time, the mosaic has been unveiled to the public.

While she might no longer be able to turn people to stone, the infamous Medusa will soon go on display after undergoing restoration in coming months.

The mosaic was discovered in 2009 in the ancient city of Kibyra in the southern province of Burdur's Gölhisar district during excavation work carried out by Mehmet Akif University. About 95 percent of the mosaic is intact despite being around 1,800 years old.

"The mosaic is made up of thin, colored marble plaques. The technique used is called 'Opus Sectile' and there is no other Medusa in the world made with this technique," said the head of excavations, Professor Şükrü Özüdoğru.

Archaeological excavations in Kibyra have been in progress since 2009, unearthing artifacts and relics of historical significance. Özüdoğru said the city, which was a regional power in the Hellenistic period, was founded in 330 B.C. 

He also stated that the stadium, concert hall, parliamentary building, baths and theater all possessed an impressive structural integrity that had allowed them to survive to the present day.

He said a 3,600-person-capacity Odeon structure unearthed in the ancient city was the only structure in the city covered with a roof, hence its functional capacity as a theater, court and parliamentary building in winter months. 

Özüdoğru said the Medusa was 11 meters in length, adding that the Medusa had never before been properly uncovered for study. 

"In accordance with the reports of expert restorers, we closed the outer surface of the Medusa with five different layers. This year, we opened it so that it could be checked, and so that our restorers could carry out feasibility works on it." 

He said the restorers had presented him with a report about the restoration and conservation of the Medusa. 

"Next year, we will restore the Medusa," he said. "After the restoration, the Medusa will be covered with glass and opened to visitors."

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