The gladiator relief and other highlights from the Burdur Archaeological Museum (Pisidia, Turkey)

Burdur Archaeology Museum

Burdur Archaeological Museum
© Carole Raddato

No visit to Sagalassos would be complete without checking the Archaeological Museum at Burdur, the provincial capital. Major finds from Sagalassos are housed in this museum which is located a short drive from the site. Photos of this magnificent archaeological site were posted in part 1 and part 2 of my piece on Sagalassos.

The museum was built around the Ottoman-era Pirkulzade Library (built in 1823) and features a sculpture garden and spacious exhibit halls. In 2006, it was renovated and enlarged to house the numerous sculptural pieces found at Sagalassos. In 2008, it was awarded a special prize at the European Museum of the Year Award.  In summer 2009, the monumental portrait heads of Hadrian and Marcus Aurelius, found during the 2007/2008 excavations, were installed in the museum.

The heads and lower part legs of the colossal marble statues of Hadrian and Marcus Aurelius found at the Sagalassos Roman Baths complex, Burdur Museum © Carole Raddato

The heads and lower part legs of the colossal marble statues of Hadrian and Marcus Aurelius found at the Sagalassos Roman Baths complex, Burdur Museum
© Carole Raddato

The head of the colossal marble statue of Hadrian found at the Sagalassos Roman Baths complex in 2007, Burdur Museum © Carole Raddato

The head of the colossal marble statue of Hadrian found at the Sagalassos Roman Baths complex in 2007, Burdur Museum
© Carole Raddato

The museum also houses finds from other Pisidian cities; Cremna and Kibyra. A frieze showing gladiators and scenes of hunting and taming of wild beasts, recovered from the necropolis at Kibyra, is on display as well as two stelai with gladiators. They probably belonged to a gladiator cemetery.

Frieze with gladiator figures, 2nd - 3rd century AD, from the necropolis at Kibyra, Burdur Museum © Carole Raddato

Frieze with gladiator figures, 2nd – 3rd century AD, from the necropolis at Kibyra, Burdur Museum
© Carole Raddato

Frieze with gladiator figures, 2nd - 3rd century AD, from the necropolis at Kibyra, Burdur Museum © Carole Raddato

Frieze with gladiator figures, 2nd – 3rd century AD, from the necropolis at Kibyra, Burdur Museum
© Carole Raddato

Detail of the frieze with gladiator figures, 2nd - 3rd century AD, from the necropolis at Kibyra, Burdur Museum © Carole Raddato

Detail of the frieze with gladiator figures, 2nd – 3rd century AD, from the necropolis at Kibyra, Burdur Museum
© Carole Raddato

Frieze with depictions of wild beast taming and hunting, 2nd - 3rd century AD, from the necropolis at Kibyra, Burdur Museum © Carole Raddato

Frieze with depictions of wild beast taming, 2nd – 3rd century AD, from the necropolis at Kibyra, Burdur Museum
© Carole Raddato

The ancient city of Kibyra is located near the modern town of Gölhisar, 106 km southwest of Burdur. It was the capital of a tetrapolis (with Oinoanda, Balbura and Bubon) before the area was divided between the Roman provinces of Lycia and Phrygia. Visible structures include the stadion, theatre, odeon and two agoras. This was an important iron-working area.

All the finds recovered seem to suggest that the itinerant gladiator games and wild beast fights organised in Anatolia were both popular and frequent in Kibyra.

Frieze with depictions of wild beast hunting, 2nd - 3rd century AD, from the necropolis at Kibyra, Burdur Museum © Carole Raddato

Frieze with depictions of wild beast hunting, 2nd – 3rd century AD, from the necropolis at Kibyra, Burdur Museum
© Carole Raddato

Frieze with gladiator figures, 2nd – 3rd century AD, from the necropolis at Kibyra, Burdur Museum © Carole Raddato

Frieze with gladiator figures, 2nd – 3rd century AD, from the necropolis at Kibyra, Burdur Museum
© Carole Raddato

There are also marble statues from Cremna. Like Sagalasos, Cremna was set high in the Taurus mountains. For a long time a stronghold of Hellenised Pisidians, Cremna was refounded as a veteran colony by the emperor Augustus. From the age of Hadrian until the early third century AD the colony enjoyed a boom in public buildings whose remains still adorn the site. Disaster struck in the late third century when Cremna became a centre for a regional insurrection against Roman rule. Roman forces staged a major siege of the city, and recaptured it in AD 278. A bishopric in Late Antiquity, Cremna was abandoned in the sixth or seventh century.

Aphrodite, 2nd – 3rd century AD, from Cremna, Burdur Museum © Carole Raddato

Aphrodite, 2nd – 3rd century AD, from Cremna, Burdur Museum
© Carole Raddato

Leto (mother of  Apollo and Artemis), 2nd – 3rd century AD, from Cremna, Burdur Museum © Carole Raddato

Leto (mother of Apollo and Artemis), 2nd – 3rd century AD, from Cremna, Burdur Museum
© Carole Raddato

Hercules, Roman period, 2nd – 3rd century AD, from Cremna, Burdur Museum © Carole Raddato

Hercules, Roman period, 2nd – 3rd century AD, from Cremna, Burdur Museum
© Carole Raddato

Bust of Zeus, 2nd - 3rd century AD, from Cremna, Burdur Museum © Carole Raddato

Bust of Zeus, 2nd – 3rd century AD, from Cremna, Burdur Museum
© Carole Raddato

Other highlights from the museum include reliefs of Poseidon (with trident), Zeus (with scepter) and Hercules from Sagalassos…

Relief of Poseidon, 1st - 2nd century AD, Burdur Museum © Carole Raddato

Relief of Poseidon, 1st – 2nd century AD, Burdur Museum
© Carole Raddato

Relief of Zeus, 1st - 2nd century AD, Burdur Museum © Carole Raddato

Relief of Zeus, 1st – 2nd century AD, Burdur Museum
© Carole Raddato

Hercules relief, Burdur Museum © Carole Raddato

Hercules relief, Burdur Museum
© Carole Raddato

and finally the dancing girl reliefs taken from the Heroon on the Upper Acropolis of Sagalassos…

Dancing girl relief, detail of the Heroon from Sagalassos, Burdur Museum © Carole Raddato

Dancing girl relief, detail of the Heroon from Sagalassos, Burdur Museum
© Carole Raddato

Dancing girl relief, detail of the Heroon from Sagalassos, Burdur Museum © Carole Raddato

Dancing girl relief, detail of the Heroon from Sagalassos, Burdur Museum
© Carole Raddato

Dancing girl relief, detail of the Heroon from Sagalassos, Burdur Museum © Carole Raddato

Dancing girl relief, detail of the Heroon from Sagalassos, Burdur Museum
© Carole Raddato

Further photos from the Burdur Archaeological Museum can be viewed from my image collection on Flickr.

About followinghadrian

I came, I saw, I photographed... follow me in the footsteps of Hadrian!
This entry was posted in Archaeology Travel, Asia Minor, Gladiator, Hadrian, Museum, Pisidia, Sagalassos, Turkey and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The gladiator relief and other highlights from the Burdur Archaeological Museum (Pisidia, Turkey)

  1. Pingback: Roman Empire Archeology News Today 2013-04-17

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