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Contents / The Zeugma Mosaics

Stories worked in stone The Zeugma Mosaics
The Zeugma mosaics unearthed at Nizip display the finest workmanship in the world. They await visitors now in the new building of the Gaziantep Museum.

T wo thousand years after sinking into oblivion, a few years ago the ancient city of Zeugma was suddenly jolted awake. Founded on the fertile banks of the Euphrates River, which gave life to so many pre-historic civilizations, it flourished under the Commagene Kingdom and grew to enormous size with the coming of the Roman Empire. Following the damage inflicted on it by the invading Sasanian state, it soon drifted into a deep slumber. Until, that is, excavations got under way some two millennia later. Once one of the world's largest cities, Zeugma, albeit smaller now, is alive and well once again, this time under the roof of the Gaziantep Museum-the world's largest mosaic museum, which surpasses even the Bardo of Tunus and the Antakya Museums in the ancient city of Antioch. And each of the mosaics, which are worked in colorful stones like fine embroidery, has a story to tell. In one you find yourself in the middle of the Trojan War, in another in thrall to the 'Gypsy Girl's piercing eyes.

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