What Happened to Ancient Sculptures Noses?

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Great Artemis Statue with a Eroded Nose in Ephesus Archeological Museum
Great Artemis Statue with a Eroded Nose in Ephesus Archeological Museum

Probably many people have asked themselves this question before. What Happened to Ancient Sculptures Noses? If you have visited a museum before, you may have seen ancient sculptures with missing noses, as in many busts currently in the Ephesus Archaeological Museum. A shattered or missing nose is a common feature of ancient sculptures from all cultures and all time periods of ancient history. So, it’s not limited to sculptures of a particular culture or era.

Giant Bust of Emperor Domitian in Ephesus Archeological Museum

It is true that several ancient sculptures were deliberately damaged by people at different times for different reasons. However, the deliberate destruction of this marble head is an exception. In fact, the reason for most of these statues’ missing nose has nothing to do with humans. It’s all about the natural wear that the sculpture has been subjected to overtime. Ancient sculptures are thousands of years old and all undergo significant natural wear over time. The sculptures we see in museums today exposed to time and other factors. Parts of sculptures that stick out, such as the nose, arms, head, and other limbs, are almost always the first to break. Other parts that are more securely attached, such as the legs and torso, are generally more likely to remain intact.

Hasan Gülday

Hasan Gülday. Professional licensed tour guide working in Turkey.

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