A 6th century BC temple dedicated to Aphrodite, the ancient Greek goddess of love and beauty, has been discovered by archaeologists during a survey conducted in Izmir province in Turkey, Anadolu Agency reports.
According to the media outlet, Elif Korapal, archaeologist at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University and head of the excavation team, has explained that first traces of the 2,500-years old temple's existence were actually discovered in 2016.
"During our screening of the surface, we detected the Aphrodite temple from the sixth century BC", he said. "Aphrodite was a commonly worshipped figure back then. It is a fascinating and impressive discovery."
Korapal also remarked that their study helped unearth what Hurriyet Daily News describes as "an important social and economic network" in the region, and warned about the threat posed to historical sites by treasure hunters and urbanisation.
Surveys conducted by archaeologists in the Urla, Çesme and Seferihisar districts of Izmir province since 2006 have yielded the discovery of a total of 35 prehistoric settlements, some of them dating back to the Late Neolithic period.