Antiochia ad Cragum (Αντιόχεια του Κράγου) was an ancient city located about eight miles to the East of the modern town of Gazipaşa, in the area of the village of Guney, Turkey. It was founded around 170 BC, and was a hotbed for pirate activity. The additional name ‘ad Cragum’ comes from the site’s position on the steep cliffs (Cragum) overlooking the Mediterranean coast in Southern Anatolia.

Credit: Michael Hoff, UNL
Since 2005, archeologists have been excavating the ancient city, hoping to learn more about its heritage. Last year's dig was famous for the bath house mosaic that was uncovered. It's the largest Roman mosaic ever found in southern Turkey, and was of major influence to change the views of archeologies and scholars that this region of Turkey was left alone by the Roman empire.
The site covers an area of around three hectares and contains the remains of baths, market places, colonnaded streets with a gateway, an early Christian basilica, monumental tombs, a temple, and several unidentified buildings. The city itself was built on the sloping ground that comes down from the Taurus Mountain range which terminates at the shore creating steep cliffs; in some places several hundred metres high. The temple complex is situated on the highest point of the city and most of the building material remains though in a collapsed state. There is also evidence of a gymnasium complex nearby.
As last year's dig yeilded only (roughly) half of the mosaic, another dig was financed to recover the second half. As a bath house mosaic, it surrounded actual baths, and in the center bath, another discovery was made: the slightly damaged statuehead which would later be identified as belonging to a statue of Aphrodite. From NBC news:
"The excavators had been looking for more parts of the largest Roman mosaic ever found in Turkey: a 1,600-square-foot (150 square meters) marble floor elaborately decorated with geometric designs, adorning a plaza outside a Roman bath. During fresh excavations this past summer, they found the statue head lying face-down. The researchers think the marble head was likely long separated from its body; traces of lime kilns have been found near the site, suggesting many statues and hunks of stone would have been burned to be reused in concrete."
Project director Michael Hoff, Hixson-Lied professor of art history at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln was asked for his thoughts on the discovery:
"We have niches where statues once were, we just didn't have any statues. Finally, we have the head of a statue. It suggests something of how mainstream these people were who were living here, how much they were a part of the overall Greek and Roman traditions. [...] The head is the only piece of monumental sculpture recovered so far in an eight-year archeological dig at the site of Antiochia ad Cragnum."
The Archaeology News Network explains that 'the new discoveries add evidence that early residents of Antiochia -- which was established at about the time of Emperor Nero in the middle of the first century and flourished during the height of the Roman Empire -- adopted many of the trappings of Roman civilization, though they lived in relative isolation a thousand miles from Rome. In the past, scholars believed the region's culture had been too insular to be heavily impacted by Rome'.
It is a wonderful discovery, but as a personal note, I have to question why this head is said to belong to a statue of Aphrodite. To me, the evidence seems to point to Venus--if you can even be specific enough to determine that the statue found must belong to the Goddess of love at all. There is no doubt, though, that the find is important and I look forward to future finds. The next project seems to be the excavation of a temple, and finding out more about all the discoveries made this season.

For more information about the excavation and discoveries of the site, follow GraecoMuse's blog, as they have been part of the dig for the last two years and have many stoeries to tell.