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Giant human sculpture discovered at Turkish archaeological site

Enormous "gatekeeper" human figure provides insight into ancient Neo-Hittite culture

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Archaeologists catalogue finds from a massive archaeological dig in Istanbul, 20 June 2006. Turkish archaeologists have discovered an ancient Byzantine port in an area that was planned to be an underground railway station. (MUSTAFA OZER/AFP/Getty Images)

Archeologists have uncovered a remarkable megalith sculpture in Turkey, reported Science Daily on Monday: a enormous humanoid figure that bears a certain resemblance to the iconic stone heads of Easter Island. 

The human sculpture was discovered alongside a ornately decorated column base, says Science Daily, and both pieces probably hailed from a monumental gate complex. 

The sculpture resembles a bearded man with haunting, white-pupiled eyes. Such imposing sculptures were often used as "gatekeepers" in Neo-Hittite structures, Science Daily says.

Scientists suspect that the gate complex was destroyed in the aftermath of the Assyrian conquest of the area in 738 BC, says Science Daily. 

The megalith was uncovered by the Tayinat Archaelogical Project, a program out of the University of Toronto that focuses on the Tell Ta’yinat site, which has a settlement history spanning from around the Early Bronze to Iron Age periods of human history.

The project intends to document cultural sequences, with an eye towards examining the development of more modern state-oriented civilizations (among other advances), according to the Tayinat Project's website. 

Turkey is home to some of humanity's oldest cultural relics, including the remarkable Gobekli Tepe complex, a unique 11,000 year old structure that some scientists consider to be humanity's oldest religious building. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/turkey/120731/giant-human-sculpture-discovered-at-turkish-archaeologica