A 2,500-year-old Aphrodite temple was recently unearthed by a team of Turkish archaeologists in the Urla-Cesme peninsula in western Turkey.

The ancient Greek temple to the Goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite, was located just outside of the city of Izmir, or Smyrna.

The first remnants of this temple were discovered in 2016 after archaeologists began to conduct extensive searches over a large area of 1,600 square meters (17,220 square feet) in the province.

Throughout their work surveying the plot, archaeologists have found a wealth of artifacts left by the region’s ancient residents.

In total, remnants from 35 settlements from the prehistoric period, 16 of which are from the Late Neolithic period, have been unearthed in the province of western Turkey.

Professor Elif Koparal from Mimar Sinan University leader of the excavations, spoke to Andalou Agency about the remarkable finds archaeologists have discovered in the region.

“During our screening of the surface, we detected the Aphrodite temple from the sixth century B.C. Aphrodite was a commonly worshiped figure back then. It is a fascinating and impressive discovery.” 

Koparal added that archaeologists have found evidence of an extensive ancient social and economic network in the province.

As the looting of artifacts is widespread and prevalent in the country, Koparal worked to gain the trust of local residents, creating a network of people who protected the priceless finds from thieves.