• Ozge Yılmaz

A Traveler finds a 2,000-year-old Heracles Relief in Turkey's Mugla Province

A person wandering around a marble quarry in Muğla to take a video discovered a previously unknown relief depicting Heracles.

A previously unknown ancient relief was found by a person named Recep Aşık in the Milas district of Muğla. An investigation was started on the relief, which is thought to depict Heracles.

Photo : AA

Inspired by a documentary he watched, Recep Aşık decided to shoot a video for social media use in the mountainous area where the ancient marble quarries are located.

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Recep Aşık learned that Hekatomnos, King of Caria, lived in the region in the past, during his research to prepare a video. Learning from the sources that there are ancient marble quarries on Sodra Mountain in the district, Aşık started to wander around the region to take pictures.

Noticing a relief on the marble surface, Recep Aşık reported the situation to the Milas Museum Directorate. According to the examinations, it is thought that the relief depicts Heracles and was made about 2,000 years ago.

The officials of the Milas Museum Directorate, who examined the region, started to work to declare the area as an archaeological site by examining the relief and its surroundings.

In ancient times, Heracles relief was carved on the rock for the protection of the workers working in the quarry and for their religious worship. According to Greek mythology, Heracles is believed to be the son of Zeus and Alcmene, the daughter of the king of Mycenae. It is believed that statues and reliefs protected people from evil in that century. It is thought that the Heracles reliefs were made to instill and protect the moral and physical strength of the workers working in the quarries. The mythological character believed to have divine powers is known as Heracles in Greek mythology and Hercules in Roman mythology.

Stating that his aim is to find a trace of the Carian King Hekatomnos, Recep Aşık says he is happy to find an artifact that was not recorded before.

Recep Aşık said, “I wondered where the reliefs and statues of Hekatomnos were brought to the Gümüşkesen Monument and the white marbles that were transported to the Euromos Ancient City, and I started looking for them. While searching for the mines, I noticed a relief carved on such a stone. I informed the museum authorities.”