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Turkish archaeologists unearth statue head of Hygieia, the ancient Greek goddess of health

In southwest Türkiye's ancient city of Laodikeia, a statue head estimated to be 2100 years old was unearthed by archaeologists. The head has been attributed to Hygieia, the goddess connected with health.

Anadolu Agency TÜRKIYE
Published May 21,2024

Archaeologists discovered a 2100-year-old statue head attributed to Hygieia, also known as the goddess of health, in southwestern Türkiye's ancient city of Laodikeia.

Archaeologists discovered numerous 2,100-year-old statue fragments, including a statue head attributed to the Hygieia Goddess, while excavating the West Theater's stage building in the ancient Laodikeia city of Denizli province.

Hygieia is known as the daughter of Asklepios, the ancient god of medicine.

Celal Simsek, head of the excavation team, told Anadolu that while the statue head has been discovered, efforts are underway to locate the remaining parts.

There is information from multiple sources indicating the existence of a medical school in Laodikeia and its vicinity, Simsek said, stressing that the statute head backs these claims.

Pointing out that the statue head is estimated to be around 2,100 years old, he said: "We already knew from ancient sources how important medicine was in this region, especially with significant doctors. I hope that in the near future, the lower part of the statue will also be found."

"Finding the head of the goddess of health, Hygieia, here supports the notion of medical activities, which truly excites us as an excavation team."

Meanwhile, Simsek shared some photos of the discovery on X, saying, "Goddess Hygieia meeting the sun and us after 2100 years in Laodikeia."

"Laodikeia was the most famous and influential city in the 1st century B.C. The remains of the city are dated from this era. The Romans made the city the center of Kybira's conventus (Golhisar-Horzum) because of its geographical location, Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry said in a separate statement.