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Archaeologists excavating in Laodicea have discovered a 3-meter-tall statue of the Roman Emperor Trajan dating to 113 AD. It was unearthed in 356 pieces in the remains of a fountain which had been destroyed by an earthquake. A second, smaller statue standing on the same patio was also found, which likely depicts an enemy soldier, with his hands bound behind his back. The state of Trajan is incredibly detailed and depicts the emperor dressed in armor, wearing a short chiton. The images on the armor feature symbols from Roman mythology, including Jupiter's thunderbolt, the head of Medusa, and two griffins. A water can is visible between the two griffins, which scholars believe represents Trajan's influence on the city by bringing water to Laodicea. According to the early Christian writer, Ignatius, the apostle John lived to an old age in nearby Ephesus, surviving into the reign of Trajan (Against Heresies 2.33; 3.3)

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