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1800-year-old Cavalry Face Mask Worn by Roman Soldier Excavated in Turkey


Archaeologists in Turkey have excavated a part of a 1,800-year-old face mask worn by a former Roman soldier. The excavations took place in the city of Hadrianaupolis, also known by the names Caesarea and Proseilemmene, which is thought to have been inhabited from the 1st century BC to the 8th century AD.

A team of archaeologists from Turkey’s Karabuk University were involved in the excavations and stumbled upon an important piece. The site has been under observation since 2003. Nearly 14 structures including two baths, two churches, a theatre, rock tombs, a villa and the square, fortified building, a monumental niche have been found in the area since the excavations started 18 years ago. The recently discovered cavalry mask was found in the fortified building, reported the Daily Mail. Lead archaeologist Ersin Çelikbaş told Gazette Global, “We guess from the fortification wall in the building that this is a military structure. An iron mask was unearthed during excavations here .”

He also told the Turkish news portal that the history of the inner regions of the Western Black Sea Region has not yet been fully elucidated. With the help of further excavations, archeologists continue to illuminate the history of the region with their works, said Ersin.

“During our excavations, we found important data showing the existence of the Roman Empire in the region. This mask also belongs to a Roman soldier. A Roman cavalry face mask, a piece of helmet,” said Ersin.

After the recent discovery archaeologists expect that there could be a Roman garrison and a military base in Hadrianaupolis. Ersin told Gazette Global, “Rome planned to make its defence at the far end by building bases against all kinds of dangers that may come from the Black Sea Region to its own geography. We think that one of these defensive military cities was Hadrianaupolis. The mask fragment is from the imperial period. It most likely belongs to the third century when we look at similar examples and stratification history.”

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