The Ministry of Culture and Tourism in Turkey is opening a new museum to display priceless mosaics dating back as far back as the 1st century BCE.
The Zeugma Mosaic Museum in Gaziantep encompasses pre-Hellenistic cultures and the Greek and Roman empires. Zeugma, thought to have been founded by a general in Alexander the Great's army, was initially two cities on either side of the Euphrates River. It grew over countless centuries because it was located at the easiest crossing of the river, exactly where major trade routes in the ancient world linked east and west as well as north and south.
The city's location was considered so important by the Romans that Zeugma became a vital military center where tolls were collected on commerce and travelers. At one point the city was home to more than 70,000 people. In the process, wealthy residents, businessmen, military officers, governors and other notables built impressive homes and villas distinguished by magnificent mosaics -- on floors, in pools, courtyards, kitchens and elsewhere. Because of Zeugma's position at the center of international trade and commerce, these mosaics represent a treasure trove of information about the interaction and assimilations of ancient cultures over the centuries.
These treasures -- and an abundance of other valuable artifacts ranging from frescoes to burial objects -- lay undiscovered for millennia. It was only in 2000, after suspected vandalized artifacts appeared in museums and private collections and when plans for new dams on the Euphrates meant that much of Zeugma would be forever flooded, that the race was on. The result was an ambitious excavation project sponsored by the Turkish government, the California-based Packard Humanities Institute and American universities. The excavations discovered homes, public buildings and market squares that contained one of the largest and most important collections of Roman mosaic art ever found. Ultimately, a decision was made to build a museum to preserve and display the extraordinary mosaics from what has been called “one of the most important cultural heritage sites in Turkey.”
The 90,000-square-foot museum features a 7,500-square-foot exhibition hall, numerous conference rooms and other facilities and replaces the Bardo National Museum in Tunis as the world's largest mosaics museum.
For more information:
BINA - Luxury Yacht Charter 142'
Primland - Meadows of Dan, VA
Calala Island - Nicaragua Exclusive Private Island
Villa Sabai Jai - Koh Tao, Thailand
Hotel del Coronado - San Diego
Eden Roc at Cap Cana - Punta Cana
Offering exclusive luxury in the Dominican Republic, Eden Roc at Cap Cana, the only Relais & Chateaux hotel on the island, features 34 freestanding suites with private pools and stunning views.
A.M.A Selections - Luxury Villa Rentals in France & Italy
Strongly focused on delivering memorable experiences for each guest, A.M.A Selections is setting itself apart with their intimate knowledge of their properties and destinations.
Mountain Shadows - Arizona
This new resort in Paradise Valley features timeless modern design, 183 guestrooms, a restaurant with an exhibition kitchen, two pools, a high-tech fitness facility, a fully revamped short golf course, and more.
Rawai VIP Villas - Phuket, Thailand
Autobahn Adventures - Luxury European Driving Tours
Carrington Italia - Amalfi Coast
Alegria Mykonos - Luxury Villa in Greece
Stonewater Cove Resort and Spa
AutoEurope - Luxury Car Rental
Relais San Sanino - Tuscany, Italy
Plaza Athenee Bangkok, A Royal Meridien Hotel - Thailand
Masseria Pettolecchia la Residenza - Puglia, Italy