An enormous Iron Age statue of an unknown woman has been discovered in Turkey near the Syrian border during an excavation.
Only the head and shoulders of the statue were at the site, but the full statue would have been about 16 feet high, Newsweek reported.
An archaeological team from the University of Toronto discovered the statue carved in red basalt stone in Tayinat, Turkey. The statue was well-preserved but the face and chest were bashed in, which made archaeologists think it may have been involved in a ritual defacing.
The archaeologists have not yet determined the identity of the woman depicted in the statue but theorize it could be either Kubaba, divine mother of the gods of ancient Anatolia, or a prominent political leader of the time, Newsweek reported.
The statue was found in the location of what was once the capital of the Neo-Hittite Kingdom of Patina, the International Business Times reported.
“The discovery of this statue raises the possibility that women played a more prominent role in the political and religious lives of these early Iron Age communities than the existing historical record might suggest,” project director Timothy Harrison said, the IB Times reported.
It may have been destroyed when the Assyrians conquered the area in 738 BCE, IB Times said. Fragments recovered in the area may enable archaeologists to restore the statue to its original appearance.
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