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Gazi Antep, Zeugma Mosaic Museum

Zeugma, “bridge”, was the Greek name of a Hellenistic town on the banks of the Euphrates. When a dam was built in the river, about 30% of the archaeological site was submerged. There were excavations, and the archaeologists found beautiful mosaics, which were brought to the museum of Gazi Antep.

Now, they have a museum of their own, which was opened last week. You can still smell the paint.

The Zeugma Mosaic Museum is splendid. It consists of two wings; the left one is finished, the right one still has to be completed, although we found the door open and were able to admire the collection as well.

A visit to the left wing starts with a little movie in which Zeugma is explained. The voice-over is a bit overenthusiastic and the music is at times bombastic, but it’s nicely done. Unfortunately, there’s similar music in the museum itself; not too loud, but still sufficiently annoying to distract.

You can see the mosaics from two levels: on ground level, you can see them as they must have been experienced by the people of Zeugma themselves, from the first floor, you have a better view. On this floor, you can also see some other mosaics, including a 20 meter wide one from a church near Zeugma.

One of the finest displays is a mosaic of which a part was stolen. In the old museum, there was a large question mark; now, they project a slide of the missing part.

Explanations are Turkish and English, and very interesting. The catalog costs no less than 245 lira, or 110 euro, which was more than I was willing to pay.

This page was last modified on 27 March 2014.