Unique Cybele Temple Findings Exhibited in Bulgaria
Scientists will soon develop a project for adapting the unique archaeology monument of antique art to the surrounding buildings.
In the last couple of days the archaeologists working on the object found a third marble statue of the goddess - a deification of the Earth Mother. One of the most precious findings in the temple of Cybele is a 50-centimeter-high Doric column with a well-preserved inscription addressed to the Roman emperor Valerius Licinianus Licinius.
The archaeologists believe this is the biggest temple of Cybele in Bulgaria. The walls were at least 2.5 meters high, and the base of the building is huge, compared to other important buildings of the same age.
A huge fire or a disastrous earthquake destroyed the temple, the archaeologists believe.
The first finding in the temple was discovered at the end of April, when archaeologists found a 30-centimeter-long marble statue of Cybele in Balchik. The rare find was unearthed during excavation works for the construction of a new private hotel.
"The statue has no head and part of the goddess' palm is also missing," the curator of the local museum Radostina Encheva said. It emerged that a column with a Latin inscription and an architectural element with bulls' heads were discovered on the same spot.
Originally a Phrygian goddess, Cybele was a deification of the Earth Mother who was worshiped in Anatolia from Neolithic times. Like Gaia (the "Earth") or her Minoan equivalent Rhea, Cybele embodies the fertile earth, a goddess of caverns and mountains, walls and fortresses, nature, wild animals. Her title "potnia theron", which is also associated with the Minoan Great Mother, alludes to her ancient Neolithic roots as "Mistress of the Animals". She becomes a life-death-rebirth deity in connection with her consort, her son Attis.
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