IDENTIFICATION OF PLANT FIGURES ON STONE STATUES AND SARCOPHAGUSES AND THEIR SYMBOLS: THE HELLENISTIC AND ROMAN PERIODS OF THE EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN BASIN IN THE ISTANBUL ARCHAEOLOGY MUSEUM


Yilmaz H. , Akkemik U. , Karagöz S.

MEDITERRANEAN ARCHAEOLOGY & ARCHAEOMETRY, vol.13, no.2, pp.135-145, 2013 (Journal Indexed in AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 13 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Title of Journal : MEDITERRANEAN ARCHAEOLOGY & ARCHAEOMETRY
  • Page Numbers: pp.135-145

Abstract

Throughout time, plants have been central to human life; plants have provided humans with food, wood, fuel, cosmetics, medicine, and humans have attributed symbolism to plants, including fertility, power, and purity. The Istanbul Archaeology Museum houses many stone statues and sarcophaguses featuring a variety of figures. Among other things, these figures depict fighting, richness, fertility, peace, gods, and plants. Plants are represented as whole trees, cones, leaves, fruits and flowers. These figures help us to understand both the cultural history of these plants and ancient human relationships with plants. The purpose of this study is to identify the genera and species of the plant figures on the stone statues, reliefs and sarcophaguses from the Hellenistic and Roman periods in the Istanbul Archaeology Museum and to discuss their historical importance. To this end, a list was created to record the inventory number, original location where the remains were found, and the age and historical time period of 47 Roman and Hellenistic statues and sarcophaguses. A total of 24 different types of plants were identified: acanthus leaves, apple, apricot, bay laurel, common grape wine, common fig, a whole eastern plane tree, eggplants, a globe of artichoke, oak leaves and fruits, olive, opium poppy, pear, a cone of umbrella pine, pine leaves and cones, pomegranate, quince, walnut, wheat, strawberry fruit, and date palm leaves, fruit, and stems.