Turkish archaeologists discover Alexander the Great statue head

October 14, 2023

Archaeologists from the Düzce Municipality in Turkey announced in a statement the discovery of an Alexander the Great statue head that is nearly in pristine condition.

The rare and unique object was spotted at the top of a Roman-era theater at Konuralp, north of Düzce and near Turkey’s northwest coast. It is currently believed to originate from the second century and now resides in the Konuralp Museum where it was delivered by the archaeologists.

Apollo and Medusa

The vast majority of the ancient theater was unearthed in excavations that took place over the last 12 months by the Düzce Municipality, however, the head of the ancient leader and two of Greek god Appolo and mythical monster Medusa were found more recently in explorations taking part in the upper part of the theater.

All statues were studied by history experts and the Turkish Department of Excavations and Research. The experts were able to determine that the portrait head was an accurate representation of Alexander the Great even though it was likely sculpted 400 years after his demise.

Düzce Municipality also shared a statement by Konuralp Museum describing the statue. “A dated Alexander head measuring 23 cm (from head to neck) was found. It is depicted with deep, upward-looking eyes made of marble, drill marks on the pupils, and a slightly open mouth that does not reveal much of its teeth. His long curly hair reaches up to his neck and on the sides of his face are two strands of hair that are parted back and in the middle of his forehead just like the mane of a lion. This depiction is a hair type specific to Alexander the Great,” explained the experts from the museum.

The famed ancient Greek military commander and ruler Alexander the Great, also known as Alexander III of Macedon, ruled from 356 BCE to 323 BCE. He is regarded as one of the greatest military leaders in history and is honored for his outstanding conquests and impact on the ancient world.

Alexander was born in Pella, the capital of the Kingdom of Macedon, to King Philip II of Macedon and Queen Olympias. Following his father’s murder in 336 BCE, Alexander was crowned king of Macedon. He began a string of military operations known as the “Macedonian Conquests” or “Alexander’s Conquests.”

Conquering the world

Alexander’s invasion of Persia in 334 BCE marked the start of his military adventures. Later, he succeeded in establishing a massive empire that spanned Greece, Egypt, Persia, and the Indian subcontinent. The majority of the then-known planet was included in his conquests.

Alexander’s life was cut short when he passed away at the age of 32 in Babylon in 323 BCE. His death’s precise reason is still up for question among historians, with theories ranging from disease to natural causes to poisoning.