An extremely expressive terra-cotta mask, thought to represent Dionysos, was recently unearthed during excavations of the ancient Hellenic city of Daskyleion in Western Turkey. The newly-discovered treasure, which appears to represent a rather tipsy god, was located in the city’s acropolis, and is thought to have served as a votive offering of gratitude to Dionysos, according to archaeologists.

The site of the ancient city of Daskyleion, which was first inhabited during the Bronze Age, was discovered in 1952. Since then, it has routinely produced important finds from many different historical periods. Located in the ancient region of Lydia, Daskyleion received its name around 750 BC from the king Daskylos, father of Gyges, a figure found in both history and myth.

Archaeologist Kaan İren of Mugla Sitki Kocman University said the mask was unearthed in the city’s acropolis. “This is possibly a votive mask,” he explained. “More information will become available over time with more research.” Earlier this year, Iren’s team excavated a 2,700-year-old kitchen cellar in the acropolis. The researchers are now looking for seeds and other organic matter in the soil for clues to the city's cuisine.

Widely known as the God of wine and revelry, Dionysos is also the God of theater and of ritual madness — the term “bacchanal” comes from his Latin name, “Bacchus” — and he served an important role in the development of ancient Greek theatre. In myth, Dionysus is known to free his followers from social and cultural restraints through wine or ritual, most notably in Euripides’ tragic play “The Bacchae.”