Roman emperor’s summer residence found in Turkey

Estate belonging to the family of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius was discovered by archaeologists at the site of Kibyratis, Burdur province of Turkey.

Roman remains at Kibyratis (by University of Vienna)

Archaeologists surveying the area since 2008 have come across remains of numerous large rural estates from the Roman period. Some of the extensive sites are believed to have belonged to imperial families of the Roman Empire. Most of the remains have been badly damaged but researchers have managed to piece together mosaics, clay water pipes and marbled wall decorations. One of the finds is an inscription in stone, dedicated by Marcus Calpurnius Longus, of the Calpurnii family, referring to a hunting party, which was one of the most popular pastimes of Roman nobles.

Part of a Roman sculpture (by University of Vienna)

The remains of Roman estates are dated to the 2nd century AD. Calpurnii family lost the Kibyratis estate and it came into the hands of the royal family towards the end of the 2nd century AD. One of the new owners was Annia Cornifica Faustina, sister of Marcus Aurelius. Another find is a tomb, discovered in 2011 in the northern part of the site, decorated with the relief of a lion. It was dated to the archaic period, hundreds of years prior to Roman occupation of Asia Minor. Other finds include a relief carved in rock to the mother goddess Cybele, an ancient Phrygian deity, worshipped with orgiastic rites. A second carving shows a shepherd being attacked by a wolf. The Roman Empire had lucrative contracts exporting wine and pottery goods from its Eastern provinces and there is evidence of wine making from the finds of marble press weights used in viticulture.

(after University of Vienna, Haaretz & International Business Times)

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