The predominant colors of the pigments are red and pink, with a total of 10 different shades found
Archaeologists in the ancient city of Aizanoi in western Turkey have found remains of cosmetic products, including jewelry and makeup, used by Roman women more than 2,000 years ago, Anadolu Agency (AA) reported, citing BTA.
Aizanoi is known for its well-preserved Temple of Zeus, which was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List in 2012.
Gökhan Joşkun, an archaeologist at the University of Dumlupannar and leader of the excavation, said that most of the work was done in the agora east of the Temple of Zeus.
Joshkun added that his team had reached the ancient stores. “Our work is not only limited to the interior of the stores, but also expands around them,” Joshkun added.
During the excavations, the team discovered various inscriptions that tell the story of the establishment and functioning of the ancient shops, shedding light on the commercial and social structure of the city.
“We found that the place we found was a shop that sold cosmetic products including perfumes, jewelery and make-up. During the excavation we came across a huge number of perfume bottles. Among them we also found jewelry, as well as beads, which were probably part of hairpins and necklaces,” Joshkun said. He confirmed that the remains were indeed part of the make-up that Roman women used.
“One of the most surprising findings was that the remains of make-up pigments, similar to blush and eye shadow, closely resemble the cosmetic products used today. Of course, most of the finds are not particularly well-preserved, but we also managed to find whole pieces.”
“Rouge and eye shadow in the Roman Empire were often placed in oyster shells,” Joshkun noted, adding, “We also found a large number of oyster shells in the store we are investigating.”
The predominant colors of the pigments are red and pink, with a total of 10 different shades found.
Located 57 kilometers from the center of Kutahya, the ancient city flourished in the second and third centuries AD, becoming a “center of episcopacy during the Byzantine era,” according to Turkey’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Recent excavations around the Temple of Zeus attest to the existence of several settlements dating back to 3,000 BC. In 133 BC the city was captured by the Romans.
In 1824, European travelers rediscovered the ancient city. Between 1970 and 2011, specialists from the German Archaeological Institute discovered a theater and a stadium, as well as two public baths, a gymnasium, five bridges, a commercial building, necropolises and a sacred cave.
Since 2011, Turkish archaeologists have been exploring the ancient city. This year, the excavations have been transferred to the directorate of the museum in Kyutahya.