New rock-cut rooms discovered at the Zeugma mosaic museum

Archaeologists have now found two of the rock-hewn chambers of the House of the Muses in Zeugma, Turkey. Zeugma is an ancient Hellenistic and Roman city. It is popular for its intricate mosaics. It has preserved mosaics for nearly 2000 years. In addition, it is home to the largest collection of mosaics in the world. It has a dedicated institution, the Zeugma Mosaic Museum.

These rooms are now the latest discovery of the excavations, which began in 2005. Ankara University professor Kutalmış Görkay is leading these excavations. He also discovered the House of the Muses for the first time in 2007. The reason behind such a name is the mosaic on the floor which represents the nine muses of ancient Greece. According to legends, these muses rule over the arts and science and provide the inspiration to pursue the fields.

Other mosaics also represent stories and characters from Greek mythology. It includes the oceanic deities Oceanus and Thetys and other portraits of unidentified people.

According to Görkay, these two symmetrical rooms were used to eat according to the seasons. The area presents the design of the summer and winter dining rooms. The rooms are also quite identical. The eastern rock-cut hall has more space and a flat ceiling. The western room hewn in the rock is close to the ecus, which is a large room or living room. A vaulted ceiling of opus caementicium and bricks cover it.

Touch the roughly hewn rooms seem simple today; they must have looked very different at the time of creation.

“The two rock-cut rooms do not have mosaic paving stones. However, their floors were probably paved with figurative patterns. [designs]”Görkay added.

It looks like the house was owned by an upper middle class family who had a lot of entertainment in their dining room. These two dining rooms flank the central courtyard. It must have allowed easy access both inside and outside.

Much of the city was flooded in 2000 when a new dam took place on the Euphrates. Görkay’s team excavated over 50 feet of the solid that had buried and filled the dining rooms. They will continue their world throughout 2021. They also plan to reinforce the structure with steel and scaffolding and injections to preserve it. After the restoration, an on-site museum will open for visitors. The city will hopefully have another museum aside from the Zeugma Mosaic Museum.

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