Have you ever dreamed about the possibility of finding buried treasure? From the time that many of us were children, we thought about digging up a treasure chest and finding gold, jewelry and other precious items on the inside. Some of us have given up on the possibility of finding a treasure and have moved along to other ventures. There are others, however, who never quite lose the taste for finding treasure and they even continue to look for it, long after they become adults. Sometimes it even pays off in a huge way.
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of an archaeologist? Many of us think about movies, such as Indiana Jones and all of the fanciful things that happened in only a two hour span. Archaeologists do some interesting things but it is also important to note that they also have many days where they are doing nothing but digging and hoping that they will find something. Sometimes they may find something of relative importance but at other times, they find something so amazing that it changes the world in some way or another. That is what these archaeologists found in Turkey.
The Turkish city of Zeugma, which lies near the border of Syria, is where a lot of archaeological digging is take place. They were looking for a little bit of history but what they found is something that is so beautiful and in such pristine condition, it’s difficult to believe that it has lasted all of these years. In fact, what they found dated back 2200 years and you are not going to believe what you see.
In 2007, Zeugma was in expectation of a flood because a dam was being constructed in the nearby area. The archaeological teams were digging at a furious pace because they realized that the floodwaters would stop the expeditions almost immediately.
What they were looking for was ancient treasures and they happened to find 3 Greek mosaics that date back to the second century BC. Not only was the find of historical significance, they were uncovered in such pristine condition that it was almost as if they had not been buried under thousands of years of rubble and history.
Since the time that these mosaics were found, the city is 80% underwater. The teams are still working in the nearby areas, however, hoping to find additional artifacts.
Here are some pictures of the mosaics that they found.
The mosaics that you are seen in the picture above is of the Nine Muses: Clio, Euterpe, Thalia, Melpomene, Terpsichore, Erato, Polymnia, Ourania, and Calliope. There have been many art forms that took on these particular individuals and art was often dedicated to them. They were an inspiration to people at that time, which is why it is not unusual to find images when doing archaeological digs.
Oceanus is in the picture above. He is standing next to his sister, Tethys. They are gods of the sea and the waters of the world.
According to a well-known professor, it is not unusual to find mosaics in homes of that era. It was a social part of the home and guests would often come to admire the works of art while they were visiting with the homeowners. Subject matters would often differ from one room to another but they often included at least one of the nine Muses.
Thilia is pictured in the image above and the glass that makes up her face is specifically designed for that purpose. This mosaic is beautiful and the colors are still vivid. This was a wonderful piece of art discovered in that area.
Poseidon is shown in this mosaic. He is the god of the sea.
Zeugma dates back to thousands of years ago and it was an important location in history because of where the city was found. It was on the border between the Greco-Roman world and the Persian Empire so it was a bridge where many people crossed.
As the Roman Empire declined, this city fell into disrepair and eventually, was conquered in 253AD. It was buried and practically forgotten but recent expeditions have brought new life to the area.
We can be thankful that we have seen such beauty that was part of life some 2000 years ago. Some homes still have mosaics and they certainly are a conversation piece. It’s interesting to think that many of the homes in this ancient city had something that was so beautiful it would be considered a luxury item, even today.
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