Remains of 3,000 Year-Old-Gate Discovered by U of T Project

August 10, 2011 Updated: October 1, 2015

The lion uncovered at Tayinat citadel gate in southeastern Turkey by University of Toronto archaeologists being transported to the Antakya Archaeological Museum.  (Lynn Welton)
The lion uncovered at Tayinat citadel gate in southeastern Turkey by University of Toronto archaeologists being transported to the Antakya Archaeological Museum. (Lynn Welton)
Archaeologists with a University of Toronto project have uncovered the remains of a monumental gate complex decorated with stone sculptures in Turkey. The decorations include a “magnificently carved lion,” the university says.

“The lion is fully intact, approximately 1.3 metres in height and 1.6 metres in length. It is poised in a seated position, with ears back, claws extended and roaring,” Timothy Harrison, professor of Near Eastern archaeology and the director of the project, said in a statement.

A second discovered piece shows a “human figure flanked by lions.”

“[It] is an iconic Near Eastern cultural motif known as the Master and Animals. It symbolizes the imposition of civilized order over the chaotic forces of the natural world,” Harrison said.

The gate complex led the way to the citadel of Kunulua, which was the capital of the Kindom of Patina. It appears to have been destroyed after the Assyrian conquest in 738 BCE, according to the researchers.

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