Ancient Zeugma's treasure of mosaic masterpieces

Mosaic masterpieces of ancient Roman city of Zeugma showcase historical treasures of southeastern Turkish city Gaziantep.

Ancient Zeugma's treasure of mosaic masterpieces

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Zeugma Mosaic Museum in Gaziantep, a southeastern city of Turkey, is the biggest mosaic museum in the world.

Zeugma, which was located near Euphrates, was one of the most significant town of the ancient Roman empire.

Because of the dam projects in Turkey, the remains of Zeugma were under threat. Since it has a historical importance, many scientists, archeologists and Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism made great efforts to preserve the ruins of Zeugma.

The archeological excavations at the ancient Zeugma started in 1987 and completed in 2013. The mosaics, taken from the excavations, were exhibited at the museum since 2011.

Mosaic was a pavement which had been used to smooth away the problems originated from the ground.

The foundings in Zeugma contributes to tourism of Gaziantep. The mosaics, wall paintings and icons attract visitors.

At the museum, people can see several fascinating mosaics such as Poseidon, Gypsy Girl and Dionysus.

The Gypsy Girl mosaic became well known. The famous feature of this mosaic is that her eyes follow the beholder in every direction. Thanks to three fourth technique while making the piece, the eyes are more realistic. The Gypsy Girl mosaic is conserved in a dark and secluded room at the museum. Visitors are not allowed to take photographs when using camera flash.

However, some of the mosaics at the museum was not completed because of the looting and trafficking of artefacts.

In 2012, Zeugma was added the list of temporary World Cultural Heritage of UNESCO.

Zeugma, founded on strategically important crossing of the Euphrates, was a key commercial and military city of the Seleucid Kingdom in the Hellenistic Period. When it was originally founded by Seleceus Nicator around 300 BC , Zeugma consisted of twin towns that faced each other across the Euphrates, connected by a pontoon bridge. The twin towns were known as Zeugma, literally bridge or crossing in ancient Greece, according to Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism sources.

Zeugma remained a frontier city until the second half of the second century CE when Romans crossed the Euphrates. Zeugma was resettled and Christianized after the 4th century CE. According to ancient written sources, Zeugma was an episcopal centre in the late antique period.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 11 Ocak 2014, 14:27