ARCHAEOLOGY > İzmir presents mosaic city of western region

İZMİR - Anatolia News Agency

A new ancient city considered to be the Zeugma of the West and thought to be one of the lost cities of Anatolia has been unearthed in İzmir. There are unique mosaics with figures in the city

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An archaeological city dating back 1,700 years has been unearthed during excavations in İzmir’s Kemalpaşa neighborhood, raising officials’ hopes the area will draw tourists’ attention.

The Cultural Beings and Museums’ General Director Osman Murat Süslü held a press conference Oct. 21 regarding the discovery of the archaeological city, which Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay has defined as “good news that will draw the world’s attention.”

Drilling work had started in the area, which is now categorized as a third degree archaeological site, before the construction of a warehouse company was scheduled to begin. Excavations were begun due to an abundance of signs the area may be a hotspot for archaeological treasures, Süslü said. “Scientific excavations started Oct. 1 and a layer from the 4th Century B.C. has been unearthed,” he said.

The newly-unearthed city is believed to date back to around the late Roman or Byzantium period, Süslü said. It was home to a 550-square-meter villa complex with 105-centimeter-thick walls, water channels and 11 rooms.

Precious mosaics were found in six of the villa complex’s rooms. “The mosaics are decorated with animal and plant figures that you cannot see anywhere today. They created the Anatolian panther, the Anatolian tiger as well as a partridge and a rabbit [in mosaics]. They are decorated with completely natural stones. You can see various shades of red, blue and green. There is a rich archaeological structuring in the region,” he said.


Precious mosaics with animal and plant
figures were found in six of the villa complex’s
rooms, unearthed in İzmir’s Kemalpaşa

‘Zeugma of the west’

According to Süslü, the historic structure in the city could be defined as the “Zeugma of the West,” but the most sorrowful thing was the illegal excavations. Zeugma is the ancient city known for its rich mosaics in the southeastern province of Gaziantep.

Artifacts unearthed during illegal excavations from Zeugma were sold abroad at trifling prices and later major efforts were put underway to bring those artifacts back, Süslü said.

Süslü warned those involved in illegal excavations that there would be repercussions to their actions. “These people should know that we pay for artifacts when they inform us [of their discovery]. Citizens should prevent illegal excavations when they see [them happening].”

Further, more detailed information about the name and estimated size of the newly-discovered city in İzmir would be given as a result of detailed excavation works, Süslü said. “It is known that there are lost cities in Anatolia. Works will tell us which lost city this is.”


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Vangelis Denaxas

10/24/2012 3:08:44 PM

If the city is dated back to 1700, it is of the late Roman to Early Byzantine period, but anyway we speak for a region that during that time was already heavily hellenized in culture, although its inhabitants were not all Greeks in origin...

constantinos kio

10/24/2012 2:47:43 PM

for sure is from Mars . names also from cities provide that . all are from marsian origin . the alfabet or maybe the corect word is marsabet is an alian one .everybody in western word know that . just still somebody afraid from stones . jews and greeks by the way forced before milion years to pluto . to belive in a jewish religion and have a greek based education and politic system its real hell


10/24/2012 2:20:29 PM

@Murat: Greek and Byzantine are the same thing. Of course you will tell me that not all Byzantines were Greek, but the dominant population and civilization in Byzantine Empire was Greeks undoubtedly. It is like suggesting that Ottomans were not all Turks. Of course not, but one can not do otherwise but admit that dominant population in Ottoman Empire was Turks. It is not so difficult to acknowledge whatever is evident.

Brian Irlanda

10/24/2012 11:36:34 AM

You are right Murat. People make mountains out of molehills! People can be blind to what they don't want to see. :-) .It is great to see so much of the rich history of Turkey being uncovered. It is not a rip-off to charge an entrance fee. It costs a lot of money to unearth these monuments and to keep them preserved. Why do people want everything for nothing?


10/23/2012 9:25:15 PM

I do not think anyone hides anything here, it says late Roman or Byzantine. What part was not clear? Not all Greek writing means a Greek city or place, Like not all civiizations using Arabic alphabet are Arabs. Amazing how nationalism eats away at one's commonsense.


10/23/2012 9:17:41 PM

Nice ROMAN mosaic !!! We should thank the Italians and the Italian envoy should be there at the first exhibition of this beautiful mosaic :D Forza Italia Forza Turchia

Faruk Beisser

10/23/2012 12:21:50 PM

Note that the most important aspect are tourists! Wonder why? Ripoff!

Faruk Beisser

10/23/2012 12:19:37 PM

Hooray, Peter, you made my day! I been spending days and days weeping cos I missed the Greek comments! Thank heaven you made a start!

Peter Kypros

10/23/2012 7:40:10 AM

All the writings in those mosaics are Greek. Why in Turkey they like to hide such an obvious fact is a mystery. It is a fact that the two people Greek and Turks are most likely very similar people converted under difficult circumstances during different empires.
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