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Archaeology: FACIAL MASK of 1800-year-old Roman soldier has been discovered in Turkey

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An iron face mask believed to have been worn by an experienced member of the Roman cavalry some 1,800 years ago has been unearthed in northern central Turkey.

The find was made during excavations of a fortified structure in the ancient city of Hadrianopolis in Paphlagonia, near present-day Eskipazar, in Karabük Province.

Archaeologists from nearby Karabük University said the finds point to the influence of the Roman Empire in the region during the early 3rd century AD.

An iron face mask (pictured) believed to have been worn by an experienced member of the Roman cavalry some 1,800 years ago has been unearthed in north-central Turkey

The find was made during excavations of a fortified structure in the ancient city of Hadrianopolis in Paphlagonia (pictured), near present-day Eskipazar, in Karabük province

The find was made during excavations of a fortified structure in the ancient city of Hadrianopolis in Paphlagonia (pictured), near present-day Eskipazar, in Karabük province

Archaeologists from nearby Karabük University said the finds point to the influence of the Roman Empire in the region during the early 3rd century AD.  Pictured: the iron mask

Archaeologists from nearby Karabük University said the finds point to the influence of the Roman Empire in the region during the early 3rd century AD. Pictured: the iron mask

The city of Hadrianopolis - also known as Caesarea and Proseilemmene - is said to have been inhabited from the 1st century BC to the 8th century AD.  Pictured: An archaeologist painstakingly uncovers the ruins of an ancient Hadrianopolis building

The city of Hadrianopolis – also known as Caesarea and Proseilemmene – is said to have been inhabited from the 1st century BC to the 8th century AD. Pictured: An archaeologist painstakingly uncovers the ruins of an ancient Hadrianopolis building

HADRIANOPOLIA

Archaeologists have been excavating the ruins of Hadrianopolis since 2003.

The old town is known for the mosaics found on the floors of the two churches, compared to the mosaics of Zeugma, in the south.

Hadrianopolis’ mosaics depict major rivers – including the Tigris and Euphrates – and animals.

The town is also notable as the birthplace of two saints: Alypios the Stylite and Stylianos of Paphlagonia.

The city of Hadrianopolis – also known as Caesarea and Proseilemmene – is said to have been inhabited from the 1st century BC to the 8th century AD.

Archaeologists have excavated the site since 2003 and have uncovered 14 structures, including two baths, two churches, a theater, rock tombs, a monumental alcove, a villa and the square, fortified building in which the cavalry mask was found.

“We recommend that this is a military structure on the fortress wall in the building. An iron mask was discovered during excavations here,” chief archaeologist Ersin Çelikbaş of Karabük University said. Gazet Global.

“The history of the inner regions of the western Black Sea region has not yet been fully elucidated,” continued Dr. elikbaş.

‘With our studies, we continue to shed light on the history of the region.

“During our excavations, we came to important data that shows the existence of the Roman Empire in the region.”

Archaeologists have excavated the Hadrianopolis site since 2003 and have uncovered 14 structures, including two baths, two churches, a theater, rock tombs, a monumental alcove, a villa and the square, fortified building (pictured) in which the cavalry mask was found

Archaeologists have excavated the Hadrianopolis site since 2003 and have uncovered 14 structures, including two baths, two churches, a theater, rock tombs, a monumental alcove, a villa and the square, fortified building (pictured) in which the cavalry mask was found

“We recommend that this is a military structure on the fortress wall in the building.  An iron mask was discovered here during excavations,

“We recommend that this is a military structure on the fortress wall in the building. An iron mask was discovered here during excavations,” lead archaeologist Ersin Çelikbaş of Karabük University told Gazete Global. Pictured: the iron mask

“The history of the inner regions of the western Black Sea region has not yet been fully elucidated,” continued Dr Çelikbaş (shown here wearing the mask). ‘We will continue to highlight the history of the region with our studies’

“During our excavations, we have found important data that shows the existence of the Roman Empire in the region,” said Dr Çelikbaş. Pictured: Archaeologists excavating the site

According to the archaeological team, it is likely that a Roman garrison had a military base at Hadrianopolis - a hypothesis supported in part by the finding of the depicted Roman mask

According to the archaeological team, it is likely that a Roman garrison had a military base at Hadrianopolis – a hypothesis supported in part by the finding of the depicted Roman mask

According to the archaeological team, it is likely that a Roman garrison had a military base in Hadrianopolis.

‘Rome planned to defend itself at the extremity’ [of its empire] by building bases against all kinds of dangers that can come to its territory from the Black Sea region,” explained Dr Çelikbaş.

“We think Hadrianopolis is one of those defensive military cities.

‘The [mask] belongs to the imperial period. It is very likely – if we look at similar examples and [the stratigraphic location of the find] — from the 3rd century AD.’

Excavations will continue on the site of Hadrianopolis. According to the archaeologists, small finds will be taken to museums in surrounding provinces, while larger, immovable finds will be kept where they were excavated.

'Rome planned to defend itself at the extremity' [of its empire] by building bases against all kinds of dangers that can come to its territory from the Black Sea region,

‘Rome planned to defend itself at the extremity’ [of its empire] by building bases against all kinds of dangers that can come to its territory from the Black Sea region,” explained Dr Çelikbaş. Pictured: The archaeologists work at the Hadrianopolis site

'We think Hadrianopolis' [pictured] is one of these defensive military cities,

‘We think Hadrianopolis’ [pictured] is one of these defensive military cities,” continued Dr. elikbaş

'The [mask] belongs to the imperial period.  It is very likely - if we look at similar examples and [the stratigraphic location of the find] - from the 3rd century AD,' said Dr Çelikbaş.  Pictured: Dr.  Çelikbaş and his colleagues excavating at the excavation site

‘The [mask] belongs to the imperial period. It is very likely – if we look at similar examples and [the stratigraphic location of the find] – from the 3rd century AD,’ said Dr Çelikbaş. Pictured: Dr. Çelikbaş and his colleagues excavating at the excavation site

The find was made during excavations of a fortified structure in the ancient city of Hadrianopolis in Paphlagonia, near present-day Eskipazar, in Karabük Province.

The find was made during excavations of a fortified structure in the ancient city of Hadrianopolis in Paphlagonia, near present-day Eskipazar, in Karabük Province.

roman cavalry helmets

Pictured: the Nijmegen Helmet, as seen in the Valkhof Museum, Nijmegen

Pictured: the Nijmegen Helmet, as seen in the Valkhof Museum, Nijmegen

Roman cavalry helmets are said to have been worn – rather than in battle – during cavalry sports exercises (‘hippika gymnasia’).

These events were held by the Roman cavalry both to practice their skills on horseback and to demonstrate their expertise.

The helmets consisted of three parts: a face mask, a browband, and ear and neck protectors on either side.

One of the best-known and best-preserved examples is the so-called ‘Nijmegenhelm’, which was found in 1915 near the Dutch city of the same name, on the bank of the river Waal.

According to the Greek historian and military commander Arrian, in the hippika gymnasia, horsemen went “by rank or because they distinguished themselves in horse: riding with golden helmets of iron or bronze, so as to attract the attention of onlookers.

“Unlike combat helmets, these not only defend the head and cheeks, but, in keeping with the riders’ faces, have openings for the eyes that do not obstruct the view yet offer protection.”

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