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ZEUGMA

The documentary "Zeugma, A Roman Town in Anatolia" depicts the Roman metropol.
It also tells you about the life in upper Mesopotamia in those days. You can catch a glimpse of the magnificent floor mosaics in the documentary.




The original soundtrack of the documentary was composed by Derya Köroglu, a well known Turkish composer.

Produced & Directed By: Kerime Senyücel Camera: Sarper Hokna Script: Yrd.DoçDr.Rifat Ergeç, Kerime Senyücel Editing: Yusuf Sen Original Music: Derya Köroglu


TRT puts into the market one of the top subjects of the world media lately: "Zeugma, A Roman Town in Anatolia". The Birecik Dam, one of the most important reservoirs of the Southeastern Anatolian Development Project (GAP), began to collect water in the year 2000. Then one third of the antique town Zeugma was inundated. Birecik Dam is important for Turkey, because it will generate 2,5 billion KwH energy per annum, and irrigate 75.000 hectars of land and obtain potable water for two towns. But on the other hand, it introduced a drastic change in the region by affecting the lives of 30.000 people.9 villages disappeared completely from the map. In May 2000, Zeugma sparked a worldwide interest when Stephen Kinzer, the reporter of the New York Times wrote an article about Zeugma with the title of "A Watery Grave for a Roman Ruin". That was the time the water of the Dam began to rise. Excavations were carried out in October 2000 when the water came to the highest level.

You can buy original VCD on line at TRT website.
www.trt.net.tr/wwwtrt/marketdevam.aspx?urunid=148

ZEUGMA

The city is often called Zeuma. A bridge uniting the two banks of the Euphrates (Firat) suggested the name, the Greek work meaning "a yoke", or stands for a term like "bridge head" or "passage location". Pliny (historian) says that Alexander the Great was the first to build a bridge at this point, no doubt a pontoon bridge. Seleucus Nicator repaired it. The Parthians were accustomed to cross the river at this place being the easiest crossing. Cassius camped here in his campaign against the Parthians during the reign of Claudius. In early times two distinct cities, Seleucia and Apamea, had each its opposite bank of the river. It became customary to say that both cities were on the passage of the "Zeugma", and from the first century of our era this name was in current use. Procopius says that Justinian built a wall during his Empire about the city and strongly fortified it. The "Notitia Episcopatum" of Antioch from sixth century mentions Zeugma among the suffrages of Hierapolis. Le Quien mentions several of its bishops: Bassus at Nicea (325); Antonius, an Arian, present at the Council of Philippopolis (344); Sabinianus (363); Aphthonius, at first abbot of a local monastery, later bishop; Heliades, at Ephesus (431); Evocrius at Chalcedon, a city of Bithynia in Asia Minor , today Kadikoy in Istanbul (451); Julian (553). Theodoret (historian and religious, 1352-57) deals at length with St. Publius, a monk of Zeugma, and with his monastery.

Ancient Zeugma City is located in Belkis Village 10 km east from Nizip / Gaziantep, by the River Euphrates. Importance of this settlement which demonstrates an uninterrupted inhabiting since prehistoric ages, is that it is one of the two points allowing the easiest passage across the River Euphrates. The city is an important trade center of Hellenistic Era. After the region started to be ruled by Rome, importance of the city increased upon settlement of a military garrison called 4th Legion. Artistic activities increased and a cultural development is achieved in Zeugma parallel to progress in trade volume. The site of Zeugma was lately discovered and been excavated. Archaeologists discovered many of Roman Villas with beautiful and well preserved floor mosaics.

The first scientific study which proved that Zeugma is the same place as modern Belkis, was published in 1917. The excavation studies in the ancient city was started in 1992 under the management of Gaziantep Museum Directorate of the Ministry of Culture, General Directorate of Monuments and Museums. French archeology team joined the studies from 1996. Number of villas found since 1992 reached 7. Over 1000 m¾ base mosaic have been found during the excavations performed up to now. During the studies in the region which will fall within the lake area, a Mars statue which is 1.55 m tall was found on May 03, 2000. Many frescos, mosaics, small objects and ruins of architectural structures have been found during 1999 and 2004. Portable ones of those were moved to Gaziantep Museum Directorate.

During the excavations in 1992, an important base mosaic was found in a Rome villa, belonging to Dionysus, however 2/3 of it which is demonstrated in-situ was stolen in 1998. During the excavations during 1993, the terrace mosaics of Rome villas appeared. The 2-figure panel of the mosaic found was cut and extracted as a result of illegal excavations and smuggled abroad 25-30 years ago. It was determined in 1994 that the works are in Houston Menil Collection, and agreement was reached as a result of mutual negotiations, and the mosaics were returned back.

Either Gaziantep Governorship Province Private Administration or Birecik Dam Consortium provided financial contribution to the studies performed, in addition to the resources of the Ministry of Culture of Turkey.

The archeological rescue and documentation studies are carried out under the management of the Ministry of Culture and coordination of SAP, with participation of the Prime Ministry South Anatolian Project Regional Development Administration (SAP-RDA), Packard Humanities Institute (PHI), Birecik Dam and Hep Installation and Operation Co. Inc.

On June 2005, 2nd largest mosaic museum in the world (1st is the one in Bardo/Tunis) is opened in Gaziantep displaying 35 pieces of unearthed mosaics and Mars statue from Zeugma. Until this one opened, the mosaics museum in Hatay (Antioch) was the most important one in Turkey.

This museum has also a very rich collection of Roman bulla's, seals imprinted in clay, for enclosing documents before "mailing" them. With the discovery of almost 100 thousand of these seals during the excavations, Zeugma now claims first place in the world of this collection. Before Zeugma, the world record was of the Greek islands of Crete and Delos with 21 thousand of them.

Text Source : ALL ABOUT TURKEY  

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