1,700-Year-Old Statue OF Greek God Pan Unearthed In Istanbul



Conny Waters – AncientPages.com – A fragment of a statue depicting the Greek god Pan, has been unearthed during the excavations in Istanbul’s Saraçhane Archaeological Park.

It is a new artifact recently discovered in this area of archaerological excavations that restarted tby he Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality’s Heritage Department in June 2022.

1,700-Year-Old Statue OF Greek God Pan Unearthed In Istanbul

A fragment of the statue of Pan, the Greek god of shepherds and flocks in Greek mythology, discovered in Saraçhane Archaeology Park, Istanbul, Türkiye, June 1, 2023. (DHA Photo) – via Daily Sabah

The statue of Pan is probably 1,700 years old, and from the Roman era. However, the exact period of the statue will be determined after the detailed examinations.

It was found 260 centimeters below the ground, according to archaeologists.

The excavations also discovered stamped bricks, 681 bronze coins, pieces of marble, ceramics, glass and metal artifacts, and oil lamps.

“At a depth of approximately 2 meters 60 centimeters from the surface, within the backfill soil, a fragment of a marble statue depicting Pan, known as the god of shepherds and flocks in ancient Greek mythology, was found. The statue, measuring 20 centimeters in height and 18 centimeters in width, was identified to have a broken left arm and the lower part of the body. It is believed to date back to the Roman period, and after the expert examination, further dating will be conducted,” the statement read, as cited by Daily Sabah.

The statue ( a fragment), which is 20 centimeters tall and 18 centimeters wide, was found only in  without a left arm and lower body parts.

1,700-Year-Old Statue OF Greek God Pan Unearthed In IstanbulImage source – DHA Photo – via DailySabah

“While this description gives Pan a pastoral nature due to his direct association with nature, his depiction as a half-goat, half-human figure in all myths has made him a frightening character. In fact, Pan’s sudden appearance in front of people in the fields, frightening them with his image, inspired the word ‘panic.’

Despite being the god of shepherds, Pan is often depicted in sources as a lovable figure who roams the meadows playing the flute, contrasting with his intimidating appearance. However, in many sources, Pan is described as having the ability to scream and frighten enemies, causing panic,” according to the statement.

He was born with goat legs, a long beard and horns, and immediately after birth began to jump and laugh. Frightened by the extraordinary appearance and character of the child, the mother left him. Hermes, however, wrapping him in hare skins, took him to Olympus and so entertained all the gods, and especially Dionysus.

The gods called him Pan, as he brought great joy to everyone.

In contrast to his appearance as the shepherd-god, Pan is sometimes depicted in the sources as a pleasant figure who wanders in the countryside and plays his flute.

Previously during the excavation works near the Saint Polyeuktos Church, another Roman statue that is thought to be 1,900 years old was found by Istanbul Municipality teams, and a 1,500-year-old underground passageway with marble-shaped building stones and relief decorations had come to light.

Hurriyet Daily News

Written by Conny Waters – AncientPages.com Staff Writer


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