Ancient archives burned down 2,000 years ago in Turkey. The ruins were just found

Photo from the University of Münster

About 300 years after the famed Library of Alexandria burned down in Egypt, another, less well-known repository of information met its end in a fiery blaze.

An archive in the ancient Roman city of Doliche — located in modern-day Turkey — was set ablaze by a Persian king during a war in 253 A.D, destroying all of the documents inside.

Some artifacts, though, survived the test of time, according to researchers who discovered the archive’s ruins.

The building’s foundation, fashioned from solid limestone, was recently found by archaeologists from the Asia Minor Research Center, according to a Nov. 14 news release from the University of Münster in Germany. The foundation spans about 2,000 square feet, making it around the same size as an average American home.

Inside the remains, they located over 2,000 clay seals, which would have been used on papyrus documents.

The seals — similar to the modern usage of signatures — were “used in antiquity as marks of ownership and badges of status,” according to research from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Emblazoned onto the seals were depictions of various deities, including Jupiter Dolichenus, the city’s patron god, researchers said.

The deity, a Roman god popular throughout the empire, indicates the influence of Greco-Roman culture in the region.

The discovery of the cache of well-preserved artifacts is considered to be “a stroke of luck,” researchers said.

Google Translate was used to translate a news release from the University of Münster in Germany.

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