ADANA PROVINCE, TURKEY—According to a report in the Daily Sabah, pieces of a limestone statue of the Greek goddess Hygieia and the god Eros have been found in the ancient city of Anavarza. Nedim Dervişoğlu, director of the Adana Museum, said the statue is thought to date to the third or fourth century B.C. Hygieia, the goddess of hygiene, was one of the six daughters of Asclepius, the god of health. Dervişoğlu explained that Anavarza was known for the development of medicine and the home of Dioskurides, a pharmacologist during the Roman period. Excavators will continue to search for the statue’s missing heads. To read about another discovery in Turkey, go to “Figure of Distinction.”
LEICESTERSHIRE, ENGLAND—An Iron Age ceremonial site in the England's East Midlands has yielded 11 cauldrons, a sword, dress pins, a brooch, and a cast copper-alloy horn cap, which may have been part of a ceremonial staff, according to a report in the Leicester Mercury. John Thomas of the University of Leicester Archaeological Services said that in the fifth and fourth centuries B.C., the site is thought to have been a small, open settlement, but by the third century B.C., the evidence suggests later generations enclosed the individual roundhouses. Most of the cauldrons were found in a large, circular enclosure ditch surrounding a building, while others were spread across the settlement. The vessels may have been used during major feasts and large gatherings before they were buried. The excavators lifted the cauldrons from the ground in soil blocks wrapped in strips of plaster, and then examined them with computer tomography equipment before carefully removing the surrounding dirt. Thomas noted the cauldrons came in different sizes, but were comprised of iron rims and upper bands with two iron ring handles, and copper-alloy bowls. For more, go to “Letter from Wales: Hillforts of the Iron Age.”
ASHDOD, ISRAEL—The Times of Israel reports that a mosaic dating to the Byzantine period has been unearthed in the ancient city of Ashdod-Yam, or Azotus in Greek. The mosaic, found on the floor of a 1,500-year-old Christian church, bears a Greek inscription recording when the church was constructed—the year 292, according to the Georgian calendar, or A.D. 539. Archaeologists led by Alexander Fantalkin of Tel Aviv University, Angelika Berlejung of Leipzig University, Balbina Bäbler of the University of Göttingen, and Sa’ar Ganor of the Israel Antiquities Authority say the inscription is the earliest-known use of the Georgian calendar in the world, as well as the first time a Georgian church or monastery has been found on Israel’s Mediterranean coastline. The scholars suggest the mosaic supports historical sources that mention the presence of Georgian bishop and philosopher Peter the Iberian in Ashdod-Yam. The church is thought to have been part of a larger complex.