28 November 2022 The Future is the Product of the Past

In Bergama, the City of Greek Gods, the People Kept the Cult of Cybele Alive

The figurines of Cybele, the goddess of the fertility of Anatolia, and the presence of sanctuaries unearthed in the Ancient City of Pergamon, where many sacred architectural structures dedicated to Greek gods are seen, are astonishing.

The worship of the Anatolian fertility goddess Cybele and the determination of sacred areas for her in Bergama, where architectural structures such as the Sanctuary of Hera and Demeter, the Temple of Athena, the Temple of Zeus-Asclepios, and the Temple of Dionysus are located, reveal an interesting situation.

The belief system of the people versus the official belief system

During the extensive excavations carried out by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the German Archaeological Institute in the Ancient City of Pergamon, 5 religious sites were found inside the city walls and 3 outside the city walls, which were used by the Pergamonians 2,200 years ago this year. The most important feature of these areas was that they were attributed to the Anatolian fertility goddess Cybele.

Pergamon is a place that draws attention with its sanctuaries dedicated to Greek gods and goddesses. However, these uncovered areas and the goddess Cybele figurines show that the people still maintain their religious own belief system against official belief.

bergama ancient city
Pergamon ancient city, İzmir.

Director of the German Archaeological Institute Prof. Felix Pirson gave the following information to the AA correspondent:

“We have been working on sanctuaries in the region for several years. We have identified sacred areas within the city area. This was also a surprise. Because we usually found the Cybele figurine outside the city and in the surrounding areas. After we found the figurines, we deepened the excavations in those areas. The newly found figurines give us a lot of information about the religious belief of the period. At that time, gods such as Zeus and Athena were official cults, but the figurines unearthed in natural sanctuaries tell us the belief of the people. There was a wide spectrum of religions in Bergama 2,200 years ago and people believed in different gods. Cybele statuettes in tombs, natural areas, and sanctuaries found in the city center reveal that the people generally preferred the Anatolian fertility goddess.“

Celal Bayar University Archeology Department Associate Professor Güler Ateş stated that they had encountered the statuettes of the goddess Cybele in Bergama before, but their numbers have increased recently.

Goddess Cybele figure found in the ancient city of Pergamon
Goddess Cybele figure found in the ancient city of Pergamon.

Stating that the new figurines found in large numbers once again prove the importance of Cybele for the public, Ateş said, “We have identified Cybele figurines in and around a city that claims to be a Hellenic city, on its mountains, on its hills, in water sources, in caves, and in many sacred areas. The most important belief for ordinary people was the belief in Cybele,” she said.

Stating that people went to the caves and worshiped when there were majestic altars, Ateş said:

“Cybele figurines appeared in sacred places, untouched natural areas, rocks, springs, and caves. These are small votive items made in workshops that can be purchased by the public. There are expensive ones and there are cheap ones. Those who bought these votive items went to natural areas with utensils during religious holidays. Sacrifices were slaughtered and prayers were held. After praying and making a vow for a few days, he would break the utensils, leave the Cybele figurines, and would go back to where he lived.”

Ateş said that especially women from Pergamon made offerings to Cybele in order to have children.

Underlining that their articles on the Cybele find in the region were met with interest in the international archeology world, Ateş said, “Even though official beliefs have changed, the cult of mother goddess, fertility and mother earth has continued to live in people’s hearts. The existence of women and their symbolization of nature was very strong in Anatolia.” she said.

Banner
Related Post

New Museum being Built for the Stolen Goddess Cybele in Western Turkey

12 June 2021

12 June 2021

A marble statue of the Anatolian mother goddess Cybele, which was returned to its native home of Turkey’s Afyonkarahisar will...

Archaeologists discover one of the largest Phallus Relief Carving of ancient Rome

28 August 2022

28 August 2022

According to an announcement by the region’s local history museum, a large Roman-era relief carving of a phallus has been...

Romanian Police Find the Stolen Viking Helmet

21 February 2021

21 February 2021

Romanian police specializing in heritage crimes recovered a medieval helmet of “Viking origin” on February 7, which had disappeared a...

1500-year-old Medallion Rescued From Treasure Hunters on Display in Çorum Museum

3 May 2021

3 May 2021

A 1,500-year-old gold medallion portraying a figure of Jesus Christ has been exhibited at a museum in Turkey’s northern province...

In a Wisconsin lake, archaeologists discover a 1,200-year-old dugout canoe

6 November 2021

6 November 2021

Maritime archaeologists from the Wisconsin Historical Society have discovered a dugout wooden canoe in Lake Mendota, Wisconsin, USA. Carbon analysis...

Germany: 700-year-old Causeway Found Under Central Berlin Street

19 February 2022

19 February 2022

Archaeologists from the Landesdenkmalamt Berlin (LDA) made a sensational find during their excavation at Molkenmarkt: about 2.50 m below Stralauer...

8,000-year-old Yarmukian ‘Mother Goddess’ figurine discovered in Israel

9 July 2022

9 July 2022

An 8,000-year-old Yarmukian Mother Goddess figurine was found at Sha’ar HaGolan archaeological site, located on the northern bank of the...

The Ancient City of Miletos’s “Sacred Cave” Opened to Visitors

2 October 2021

2 October 2021

In the ancient city of Miletos, which had an important place in the advancement of philosophy, art, and science in...

The Old Fisherman Founded the Turkish Sea Creatures Museum

26 March 2021

26 March 2021

The sea gives another life to man, sometimes love, sometimes a disappointment, often a longing. The sea is reminiscent of...

The Largest Circular Tomb of the Ancient World Is Opening

16 February 2021

16 February 2021

The restoration of Augustus’ colossal tomb, which is expected to be opened in 2014, has been completed. The Augustus mausoleum...

Places to Visit in Oman

6 February 2021

6 February 2021

There are many places to visit in Oman. In this article, we wanted to talk about a wonderful country that...

The First Native Americans were Among the First Metal Miners in the World

20 March 2021

20 March 2021

An arrowhead made of pure copper 8,500 years ago dates the history of the copper age to an earlier period,...

Tombs of elite Wari craftsmen found in the royal necropolis in Castillo de Huarmey, Peru

12 September 2022

12 September 2022

A group of tombs of elite craftsmen of the Wari culture has been discovered at the archaeological site of Castillo...

Millennia-Old İron Production Facilities Found in Iran

2 May 2021

2 May 2021

Archaeologists have uncovered many millennia-old iron manufacturing sites in a historical village in southcentral Iran. A local tourism official declared...

Excavations of Aççana Mound, the Capital of the Mukish Kingdom, Continue

16 July 2021

16 July 2021

2021 excavations have started at Aççana Höyük, the old city of Alalah, in Hatay’s Reyhanlı district. The ancient city of...

Comments
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *