Archaeological excavations in Myra, one of the six most important cities of the Lycian Union, and its port Andriake in the southern province of Antalya have unearthed a 1,800-year-old signet ring without a band, Hurriyet Daily reported.
The ring’s one-centimeter stone, made of red Jasper stone, features an engraving of chariots drawn by four horses, a hippodrome and monuments. The depictions on the ring’s stone are defined as the “culmination of artistic fineness.”
Excavations at the ancient city of Myra and Andriake entered its ninth year, according to the head of the excavations, Nevzat Çevik, a professor of Akdeniz University’s classical archaeology department.
He said that this year they carried out cleaning and protection works in Myra and focused on the works carried out in Andriake.
Çevik said they had started the excavations in the second bath in Andriake this year, adding that they also continued excavations in a Roman-era necropolis.
They made very interesting findings such as coins, candles and jewelries. Among these findings, Çevik said, the ring was very special.
Çevik said the finding was an unprecedented one, with a ring depicting a horse race scene being seen for the first time in excavations at the Lycian Union site. “We have never seen such a thing before. This ring stone is the culmination of a fine art. It is not just a random figure but it is the whole scene fitted in a one-centimeter stone. This is really fascinating,” he added.
Çevik said the ring’s stone was found among many pieces in the grave. “We think that the ring’s stone belongs to a high-status figure from what is called Demre today. It most probably belonged to a jockey or a racehorse raiser, because there are figures of horses on it.”