Marcus Aurelius shows up in Turkey

A statue of former Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius has been discovered in the ancient city of Sagalassos, Turkey.

Parts of the marble sculpture – the head, right arm and lower legs – have already been discovered and experts are expecting to uncover even more in the largest room at the Roman baths in the Turkish city.

The discovery is the latest in a series of excavations of the 13,500 sq ft room, which also housed statues of emperor Hadrian and Faustina the Elder – the wife of emperor Antoninus Pius.

Archaeologists now believe the room – which was destroyed in an earthquake between 540 and 620 AD – was home to a gallery of sculptures of the Antonine dynasty, the monarchs of Spanish origin who ruled over the Roman Empire during the second century AD.

Professor Marc Waelkens, from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium who are conducting the excavations, explained the head of Marcus Aurelius had pupils which were “in deep contemplation, perfectly fitting of an emperor who was more of a philosopher than a soldier”.