Mosaics Revealed at Ancient Greek City of Zeugma in Turkey

mosaic 1
Archaeologists discovered three unique mosaics at the Ancient Greek city of Zeugma, in south Turkey, near the borders of Syria.

The ancient city of Zeugma was originally founded as a Greek settlement by Seleucus I Nicator, one of the generals of Alexander the Great, in 300 BC. The population of the city at its peak was approximately 80,000 inhabitants.

Zeugma is 80 percent underwater, after it was flooded with the waters of a nearby artificial lake.
The mosaics, which were recovered in excellent condition, belong to the 2nd century B.C.
mosaic 2
The first mosaic depicts the nine Muses in portraits. This mosaic was originally in a large room of a house that archaeologists have named “House of Muses.” In the center of the mosaic is Muse Calliope and she is surrounded by her sisters. According to ancient Greek poet Isiodos, Calliope was the greatest and finest of the nine Muses, the protector of Epic poetry and arts.
mosaic 3
The second mosaic depicts Ocean and Tithys. What is really striking about this mosaic is the wonderful and vivid colors used as well as the beauty of the heroes’ faces. Experts say that special glass mosaic pieces have been created for this mosaic alone.

Another, smaller in size mosaic, depicting a young man was also revealed and in very good condition.

  • Adonis

    Sadly, If they don’t surround this site with armed guards, someone will take a pick axe and steal most of this mosaic.

  • Chevalier

    LOL! I can understand why. I wouldn’t mind having that in my living room!

  • bob

    looks like Stallone.

  • Chevalier

    Greeks and Italians have always looked similar!

  • Kora Kaos

    BTW the muse in the close-up is Thalia, goddess of comedy. She’s probably all, “Why put me on display and then spend so much time talking about my sister? Comedy keeps us alive! Well… I’m used to it.”

  • WinterElm

    Does anyone else see Sylvester Stallone in the face of Ocean? I was like “Tithys!!!”

  • Seriously????? To which “Macedonians” are you referring to? Because the letters seem very Greek to me.

  • I DUNNO…But one of them looks like Joan Rivers…”Can We Talk???”

  • Giannis

    amazing Ancient Greek artwork!

  • Kitti McConnell

    so beautiful! I want prints of each one!

  • Ersin Ceylan

    It’s Roman, not Greek!

  • Baldur

    That doesnt tell us anything if there was greek text. Greek was the lingua franca. Any scholar could have used it, including Macedonians.

  • WallyBaiter

    Romans were nowhere near the area in the time period it was constructed, but Turk tour guides will of course say Roman, as they do for all Greek pre-Roman archaeological sites and artifacts. Keep up the good work, praise Erdogan, his complex is showing.

  • luxor

    How far do you want to separate Macedonian influence from that which is Hellenistic? Was not Macedonia in close relationship with larger Greek culture and other Greek cities? Was Alexander the Great not tutored by a philosopher from Athens?

  • Saint James Matamoros

    How long before Muslims demand it be blown to pieces for being “unislamic?”

  • Pelasgian

    Just Macedonian i.e. Thracian, not Greek!!!!

    I’m sick too of all these comments from the people of FYROM (of crystal clear Bulgarian descendance) that try to misinform the greater community that isn’t really aware of this issue, but, as well, I’m sick of all these comments (like yours) which tend to misinform about Macedonian-Thracian legacy.
    Macedonia wasn’t Greek! Ancient Greeks called ancient Macedonians ” barbarous” i.e. strangers. There is no need to mention that at that time a “barbarian” to the Greeks was a “non-Greek”. So Macedonians weren’t Greeks!
    In the “Third Olynthiac” DEMOSTHENES called Philip II of Macedonia, the father of Alexander the Great, a “barbarian”, and that’s the best proof that Macedonians WEREN’T Greeks. Furthermore, it were ancient Macedonians who occupied the ancient Greeks territories and founded the great ancient Macedonian Kingdom, and not the contrary. If you think you know ancient Greeks and ancient Macedonians better than DEMOSTHENES knew himself and his nation’s enemies, that’s another “pair of shoes”…
    Stop, you Balkans idiots, fight each other for the legacy of Alexander the Great and ancient Macedonia. Ancient Macedonians weren’t neither Greeks, nor Bulgarians, but Thracians.

  • Simply Albanian

    They’re referring to Ancient Macedonias of course.
    The letters seem very Greek to you??!! It’s obvious. When ancient Macedonians subjugated ancient Greek territories they preserved Greek culture and there was a continuity of that culture in the Macedonian Kingdom. It’s simple to explain!

  • Simply Albanian

    This is not the only mosaic unearthed in the ancient Macedonian city of Zeugma (the today Gaziantep) and they are all well preserved, so you’re your concern is vain…

  • Artee

    Oops, your abysmal ignorance is showing!

  • rodoricus

    It is not true that turks say everything pre-Roman is Roman. I was in Turkey in June -July and the museum notices and the guides recognized all civilizations that there have been in Anatolia, from Çatal-Hüyük to Assyrians, Hitites, Greeks, Persians, Hellenistics, Romans, Byzantines, up to Turks. The descriptive guidebooks are also in accord with the succession of civilizations that there has been there. They take great care of all antiquities and value them not only historically but also as touristic assets. Though Turkey is a country predominantly Muslim, their government is secular and I do not foresee a destruction of these remnants of the past.

  • WallyBaiter

    They preserved Greek culture? They were Greeks themselves, just look at at the Macedonian King names from the Argead line from 8th century bc onward.

  • WallyBaiter

    It’s common knowledge that Greeks called each other barbarians as an insult too. There’s documented proof of Athenians calling Spartans and Macedonians barbarians. Apparently you need a lesson on how the term barbarian was widely used back then.

    The term originates from the Greek word βάρβαρος (barbaros). Hence the Greek idiom “πᾶς μὴ Ἕλλην βάρβαρος” (pas mē Hellēn barbaros) which literally means “whoever is not Greek is a barbarian”. In ancient times, Greeks used it mostly for people of different cultures, but there are examples where one Greek city or state would use the word to attack another (e.g. haughty Athenians calling the Boeotians barbarian)

    However in various occasions, the term was also used by Greeks, especially the Athenians, to deride other Greek tribes and states (such as Epirotes, Eleans, Macedonians and Aeolic-speakers) but also fellow Athenians, in a pejorative and politically motivated manner.


    Siculus Diodorus, Ludwig August Dindorf, Diodori Bibliotheca historica – Volume 1 – Page 671

  • nemo295

    Like Muslims never blow up ancient artistic masterpieces. Been to Afghanistan to see the Bamiyan Buddha statues lately? No? Well, maybe it’s because MUSLIMS blew them up in 2001 for being un-Islamic!

  • Marie Armstrong

    This is from the era when women were actually respected, even worshipped. We may want to take a page out of this era!

  • Diane Fox

    But very different in cultures depending upon which era one speaks of.

  • Chevalier

    Having lived in Greece for a long time and travelled through Italy extensively, I disagree with this.

  • Tgfv

    Ahh yes, now that you have educated the ignorant masses, I the can see the Slavic Cyrillic letters coming thru on those mosaics… How did I ever miss it?

    Sarcasm intended

  • Chit Stank

    Wait a minute, I though Greeks were black. What has my professor been teaching us?

  • FleetUnit

    You’re a racist liar.

  • Charles Kerry

    Did you see the Greek writing in these Mosaic’s ,are you blind? Why would they write in Greek if they weren’t Greek?

  • Charles Kerry

    Greeks still today call certain villages on certain Greek Islands Barbarian ,not because there not Greek . They call them Barbarians because of the way they speak there Greek, or how they live.

  • Charles Kerry

    There is Greek writing on Mosaic’s



  • soultana

    Poor Albanian Muslims, they want to be Macedonians too now!


    Yes it is Greek written on the mosaic! the picture in the middle name is “THALIA”!
    I cannot read the rest. I cannot see the text well.

  • Simeon Christos Ioannou

    Sadly Turkey claims it theirs!!! Every time the Turks find something that belongs to Greece, they take it!!! Well look at the facts that Turkey was founded by a GREEK General!!!!! Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was born in Thessaloniki, Greece!!! The destroyed the beautiful village of Pontos just because they didn’t want to be involved in a war!!! They killed the Greek Orthodox people and forced them to become Muslims or die!!!! Turkey wants everything from Greece!!! All the Greek Islands that are close to Turkey that Greece had first, Turkey is trying to take!!! It’s bad enough that Turkey took half of Cyprus but now they are not supplying it with the supplies they need!!!! Greece came way before Turkey!!!!!! Turkey was founded in 1923 and Greece has been around since the Ancient times!!! LEAVE GREECE ALONE TURKS!!!!!!!!!! YOU CAUSED THE GREEK PEOPLE TOO MUCH PAIN!!!!

  • Benedicto Wilson Porto

    I don’t believe that Islam teaches in destroying things, ancient or modern. But extremists and terrorists sure teach it, and the exist in many countries and among many religions!

  • Giannis Pelelis

    You’re forgetting (or avoiding to mention) that the Macedonians also conquered a lot of Thracian tribes as well so your argument is pretty much nonexistent. But even without that hint, your ignorance is plain throughout your comment.

    “Barbarians” at the time was not only used towards non-Greeks. If you look it up you will find that it was also used to refer to Greeks who spoke in a different dialect and with a different accent, or in some occasions, to Greeks that displayed an “un-Greek” behavior. It has been used by Athenians to address the Spartans, and it was also used towards Philip cause he was known to be a drunkard. The Boeotians were called barbarians also in some cases and no one denies their credentials as Greeks.
    So that is FAR from “the best proof that Macedonians weren’t Greeks”.

    Yes, ancient Macedonians did occupy the southern Greek cities, and if you ask any historian around, they’ll tell you that they formed what we known as “Hellas”, spreading hellenism throughout the world, not “Macedonism”. Philip’s dream was to unite the Greek states, not to simply occupy them. He occupied the Illyrians too but he never thought of them as Hellenes.

    You’re quoting Demosthenes to make a point but Demosthenes was a fierce member of the anti-Macedonian party in Athens so your view is pretty much biased. There were lots of people that were pro-Macedonian too. How come you’re not quoting them?
    Alexander himself said and i quote “I myself am by ancient descent a Greek, and I would not willingly see Hellas change her freedom for slavery”. Do you see the point where he says he’s Greek and he mentions “Hellas” and not the “Macedonian Kingdom”? You think you know ancient Greeks and Macedonians better than Alexander then?

  • Giannis Pelelis

    WallyBaiter explained perfectly why “barbarian” doesn’t necessarily mean “non-Greek” but i’d also want to mention that Alexander would know it better than Demosthenes when he said “I myself am by ancient descent a Greek, and I would not willingly see Hellas change her freedom for slavery”. Especially if you consider that Demosthenes was biased since he was a fierce supported of the anti-Macedonian party in Athens.
    So yeah..