Zeugma Ancient City
As one of the most important culture treasures of Gaziantep, Zeugma is an ancient city that draws the attention of the world with its unique mosaics.
Zeugma was established for the first time in 300 B.C. by Seleucid Nikator, who was one of the commanders of Macedonian King Alexander the Great, alongside Euphrates River. The city which was given as a marriage portion after the marriage of Laodicea, daughter of Seleucid with Commagene King, became one of the four biggest cities of the Commagene Kingdom. After the region fell under Roman reign, Zeugma became more important when the 4th legion moved to the city.
Zeugma became an attraction centre as the largest city of Roman Period with its houses with Euphrates view, river trade and mobility in social life. Merchants, commanders and wealthy people who moved to Zeugma, built several villas with Euphrates view; master artists decorated the floors of such villas with stones that they revealed from Euphrates River with mosaics involving the mythological subjects of ancient period, and adorned their walls with frescos.
With unique mosaics depicting mythological Greek gods some of which were on a pool floor, on the walls of a dining hall and on the walls of rooms, a total of 65,000 buls (seal imprint, more buls revealed than any other ancient cities) Zeugma drew the attention of the world.
Most of the villas with mosaics were moved to a new museum within the scope of Birecik Dam Rescue Excavations Project, under coordination of GAP Regional Development Administration as well as the financial support of Hewlett-Packard; and most of the villas with river view that were dug or not, were flooded from the waters of Birecik Dam.
Located on hills of Zeugma Ancient City, two villas were opened to the visitors by taking them under protection. Archaeological excavations are still going on in the city and another well-protected villa with magnificent mosaics was revealed from alongside dam.