THE AYVALIK MOSAIC – Gaziantep

… and off went the marble from Ankara University to Gaziantep in the truck of the Zeugma Archeological Project.
(click on the pic and they open in a new link)
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Zeugma Archeological Project

Here I would like to extend my special  thanks to Prof Dr Kutalmis Görkay from Ankara University Archeological Faculty and director of the Zeugma Excavation Project for being my sponsor in my mosaic endeavor in the past year. Sponsor not in a monetary way. But he was always there with his knowledge, advice and ideas how this project could be put into practice in the context of Turkey, which I as a foreigner often would have misjudged. He kept my idealism going and not let it drown in practical problems.

Prof Görkay was the one who connected me with Nusret Özdemir, who comes from the village of Belkis, which was flooded due to building the Belkis dam on the Euphrates river. Up to the year  2000 together with many other villages the two archeological  sites of the ancient cities – Seleuceia (today Zeugma) and Apamea got flooded.

The fishes of my mosaic decorated once also the floor of a house in Zeugma owned by a wealthy Roman family. I can imagine the owner and their guests contemplating over which fish could have been the one that just came up from the fisherman from the river Euphrates and is now being prepared in the kitchen for a fine meal.

And I imagine the same conversation in our house when we sit with guests looking at those fishes again.

When the waters of the Euphrates almost reached the mosaics at the archeological site of Zeugma a rescue operation by more than 200 specialists lifted the mosaics and other archeological finds out of the grounds and brought them to the archeological museum in Gaziantep. Later in 2011 the Zeugma Mosaic Museum was opened with the mosaics beautifully presented.

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