Masks of comedy and tragedy found in the ancient city of Kastabala in Turkey

In the ancient city of Kastabala, also known as Hierapolis, located in Osmaniye Province in southeastern Turkey, relief masks depicting comedy and tragedy have been found on the architectural blocks of a theater.

The ancient city of Kastabala is the most important sacred city of the Cilicia region in southern Anatolia. It has preserved streets with a colonnade, a theater, a bathhouse, churches and a historic castle. The theater part of the ancient city, which is its most important and interesting part for archaeologists, has already been excavated to a fairly large extent. And during the last season of excavations, relief masks were discovered, causing a great stir among scientists. It was found that the masks depict theatrical productions of the time: the frowning masks were created for tragedy and the smiling ones for comedy.

Scientists note that these 10 masks found in the theater are very important because they testify to the cultural heritage of their period. In doing so, excavating the theater of the Roman period, scientists notice an increase in the number of qualified finds from the Neolithic period. In addition, the mounds in the upper part of the theater also show that Kastabala was an important center from prehistoric times. This is why the excavations in the area, which have been conducted on a large scale since 2009, will continue.