Giant statue of young Hercules found in Greece

Greek archaeologists discovered a huge statue of a young Hercules during excavations in the city of Philippi. According to experts, the artifact dates back to the 2nd century BC. The torso and head are intact, but the right leg below the thigh and the right arm are missing.

The statue, 3 meters high, depicts Hercules in his youth. The identity of the hero is evidenced by a mace found in fragments, and a lion’s skin hanging on his left arm, set aside. On the head of the statue is a wreath of vine leaves, which is held back by a ribbon, its ends ending at the shoulders.

Not far from the sculpture, archaeologists found a richly decorated building. It’s probably a fountain. The statue adorned the building, which, according to excavations, dates back to the 8th-9th centuries AD. We know from sources and archaeological evidence that in Constantinople, statues from the classical and Roman periods adorned buildings and public spaces until the late Byzantine period. This find demonstrates how public spaces were decorated in important cities of the Byzantine Empire, including Philippi. Excavations will continue next year.

The excavations are being carried out by a team from the Aristotelian University of Philippi, with Director of Excavations Prof. Natalia Poulos, Associate Professor Anastasios Tantzis and Emeritus Professor Aristotle Menzos.

The excavations were completed on Friday, September 16, with 24 students from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki taking part, and funding for the research was provided by the university budget and the research committee of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the Ministry of Culture said.

According to the Ministry of Culture, excavations have continued this year on the eastern side of one of the city’s main streets, which at this point intersects with another main axis further north. The point of convergence of the two streets is formed by an extension (plaza) dominated by a richly decorated building, probably a fountain. The building had a special architectural decoration, fragments of which were found.

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