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Archaeologists restore 3 ancient Roman statues in Jerash

By Saeb Rawashdeh - Apr 19,2021 - Last updated at Apr 19,2021

A Roman statue from 2nd century AD is seen on March 28 inJerash when team of local and international experts worked on restoration of three Roman sculptures found in the Eastern Roman Baths (Photo by Saeb Rawashdeh)

AMMAN — A team of archaeologists and restorers recently worked on the reassembling of three Roman statues from the Eastern Roman Baths in Jerash, according to the project’s director.

The three statues depict the Roman goddess of fertility Cybele, god of medicine Asclepius and togatus, which represents a Roman citizen in the typical garment, the toga, the project’s director, Oliver Pliz, noted, adding that the three statues originate from the 2nd century AD.

The restoration projects are funded by the German Gerda Henkel Foundation and are carried out in close collaboration with the Department of Antiquities and the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, Pilz said in a recent e-mail interview with The Jordan Times.

“First, all the fragments belonging to Cybele and Asclepius were thoroughly cleaned mechanically. Then the fragments were joint using resin glue and stainless steel pins. Finally, the cracks and some of the missing parts were filled with a marble plaster. For display, the statues will be placed on modern limestone bases,” Pilz, who currently teaches at the University of Jordan, said.

“For these statues, I plan two further restoration campaigns, one next year and the other in 2023,” Pilz said. One of the main goals of the project is to provide training to Jordanian restorers, he noted. 

The team also includes assistant restorer Razan Ahmad, a former student of the School of Archaeology and Tourism at the University of Jordan, and Firas Tabayshat, an employee in conservation of stone at the Department of Antiquities in Jerash, he said.

Italian expert Franco Sciorilli, who has been working on various projects in Jordan since 1994, is the chief restorer of the project, Pilz said.

“As a guest of this country, I have the duty to transfer my experience and train new restorers. Having worked throughout the Middle East, I have acquired a certain experience and a way of communicating with different cultures, this was taught to me by archaeologist Father Michele Piccirillo with whom I have collaborated all these years in his mission in Mount Nebo,” Sciorilli said.


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