– Archaeologists excavating in Jordan have unearthed ancient mythological statues of goddess Aphrodite and God Cupid. These ancient artifacts are without doubt a significant and precious find as they offer more clues about the ancient Nabatean city of Petra in Jordan.
The artifacts were found by a group from North Carolina State University and East Carolina University faculty while excavating structures in Petra’s North Ridge.
The ancient city of Petra was built by the lost Nabataean civilization. The Nabataeans prospered in the first century BC and the first century AD in what is now Jordan and neighboring countries. The Nabateans are mentioned about the beginning of the Christian era as a race distinguished for their astronomical and general knowledge. It is supposed that they were the ancestors of the ancient Babylonians and Chaldeans.
The unearthed ancient statues, which also feature the mythological god Cupid, are largely intact from pedestal to shoulders. Both statue heads and much of their upper extremities were also recovered at the site and will be restored.
The marble statues are Roman in style,which provide additional insight to the cultural impact of Rome’s annexation of Nabataea in 106 A.D.
“The Nabateans were true geniuses in many ways, in part because they were ready and willing to assimilate to and adopt elements of other cultures around them,” Parker said. “They adopted a lot of Egyptian culture when they were neighbors. When Romans took over, they were open to Roman influence,” Tom Parker a professor of history at NC State said.
The research team found a wealth of other artifacts that shed more light on Nabatean daily life. Digging one other domestic structure and three rock-cut shaft tombs, the researchers discovered installations for cooking and storage, occupational remains such as pottery and animal bones, an iron sword, ceramic oil lamps and human bones intermixed with personal adornments and jewelry.
“The human remains and mortuary artifacts from Petra provide perspectives not only on Nabataean concepts of death, but also their biological histories while alive,” Perry said.
The ancient city of Petra is still offers archaeological surprises. Not long ago an enormous monument that is huge ceremonial platform was found near the ancient city’s center.
Mysterious, legendary and lost to the western world, and erased from our memory for over a thousand years the ancient city of Petra still puzzles us and it remains unknown whether this rock-cut city was a fortress or sacred city.