The ongoing excavation works organized by Mardin Museum at Ilısu Dam have revealed very unique pieces, such as two theater play masks from the Roman period.
“The artifacts belong to Roman times. After the restoration is completed they will be exhibited in Mardin Museum … The excavation works held are still continuing.” Mardin Culture and Tourism Manager Davut Beliktay said.
“During ancient times there were no theater stages near Ilısu, so we think these masks came from travelling theater communities coming to Ilısu in ancient times,” he added. The artifacts are thought to come from 200-300 A.D.
“One of the masks is bronze and the other one is made from iron,” Beliktay said, adding that the restoration work on them was currently being conducted at Mardin Museum.
The masks are very rarely found in Turkey, he said. Many artifacts have been revealed during the excavations but these masks are perhaps the most important finds, as there are very few of them in Turkey, Beliktay added.
- via: Theater masks found in Ilısu excavations (Hurriyet)
… and again I’m going to break with my usual practice and actually show the photo that accompanies the article:
I think some more thinking needs to be going on with regards to this one. It’s pretty easy to see that the masks do not have any opening around the mouths and so it seems likely that they weren’t actually used in a performance. More likely, these are examples of masks which were included as offerings in tombs (cf this example from the British Museum) …