Tetrapylon at Aphrodisias, Turkey

Tetrapylon at Aphrodisias, Turkey

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Credit: DAVID PARKER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Broken pediments of the west side of the Roman tetrapylon at Aphrodisias, Turkey. Called a tetrapylon because of the 4 rows of gateways, it was originally connected to the Temple of Aphrodite. Pediment reliefs depict Nikes and Erotes hunting wild boar. Aphrodisias lies 150km from Ephesus and it's origins go back to the early Stone Age. An Assyrian trading post was established there in the 4th millenium BCE and by classical became a centre for the cult of Aphrodite, a fertility goddess with similar attributes to the earlier Assyrian goddesss Ishtar. The foreground columns would have originally been spirally fluted like the one visible in the background.

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