Sunday, July 31, 2011

Lion Statue Found at Tell Tayinat, Turkey

Unreported Heritage News reports on a lion statue discovered at Tell Tayinat. The excavation season began June 21 and will continue through August. The basalt statue is 1.5 meters tall and weighs 2 tons and depicts a seated, roaring lion. So far, it seems only to have been reported in the Turkish media, and so we rely on images and Google Translate to sketch out some of the story.

The Tayinat Archaeological Project official website has some small photos at the bottom of their homepage. The dating of the statue is 9th-8th century B.C.

Turkish Journal has a still photograph of the statue being moved. (The Google translation is kind of dicey.)

Heberler has a five minute video of the lion being moved to the Antakya museum. At about 3:28 in the video, Timothy Harrison, the director of the Tayinat Archaeological Project, talks about the find to Turkish reporters via an interpreter. He states that they are excavating beneath the new temple which was discovered in 2008 (where the Esarhaddon treaty tablet was found). The lion apparently came from these earlier levels beneath the temple.

HT: Jack Sasson

UPDATE (Aug 9): The University of Toronto has now issued a press release on the lion statue.

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