Three stunning ancient Greek mosaics unearthed on the Syrian border

Archaeologists have unearthed three stunning mosaics in southern Turkey. The beautifully preserved works have been dated to the ancient Greek city of Zeugma, founded more than 2,000 years ago by one of Alexander the Great’s generals.

Three new mosaics have been excavated by archaeologists in Turkey’s southern province of Gaziantep, as part of a seven-year expedition to discover the secrets of Zeugma – an ancient Greek city founded in 300 BC.

The excavation of Zeugma, being carried out by 25 students led by archaeologist Kutalmış Görkay from Ankara University in Turkey, begin in 2007 in an effort to rescue the ancient treasures from the waters of a flooded dam built on the Euphrates River about a kilometre away. “Of particular concern was the removal of Zeugma’s mosaics, some of the most extraordinary examples to survive from the ancient world,” Matthew Brunwasser writes at Archaeology.org.

Around 80 percent of the city has been underwater for over a decade, but the team is continuing to unearth some incredible artefacts to help them piece together what life was like in one of the most important trade centres of the Eastern Roman Empire. According to Jenny Zhang at My Modern Met, “Zeugma” means “bridge” or “crossing” in ancient Greek.

Founded by Seleucus I Nicator (“the Victor”), one of Alexander the Great’s generals, the city of Zeugma was home to 80,000 citizens at its peak. With the fall of the Roman Empire, so too did Zeugma fade into obscurity, after being destroyed by Persian forces in AD 253. Via Three stunning ancient Greek mosaics unearthed on the Syrian border

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