1,500-year-old ancient Roman column being used as coffee table in Turkey’s Kahramanmaraş
KAHRAMANMARAŞ – Demirören News Agency
A man in Turkey’s southeastern province of Kahramanmaraş has been using an ancient Roman column that he discovered while building his house as a coffee table.
Mehmet Boz, 74 and residing in the Bağlarbaşı neighborhood, within the boundaries of the ancient city of Germanicia, discovered the 1,500-year-old ancient column in 1977 while excavating for the foundation of his house. But Boz, unaware that what he found was a historical artifact, polished the upper side with concrete mortar and started to use it as a coffee table.
When the ancient city was discovered in 2007 during illegal excavations in the region, Boz began thinking this “coffee table” might actually be an ancient artifact.
But it was two years ago that Boz confirmed his idea when authorities visited him at his house, telling them that the item was 1,500 years old belonging to the late Roman era.
“I built the house in 1977. When we opened a canal to draw water, this stone [column] came out of from there. It did not have a value for us. And my wife said, ‘Let’s put cement on top of it and use it for drinking tea.’ And that is what we did,” he said.
When authorities visited him at his house two years ago, they told Boz that the ancient artifact was not “registered” on him. “They said, ‘You will not lose this stone. We are registering this on you.’ And we have this way learned of its value. I am now protecting the column in the house’s garden. When I go somewhere, I make sure that nothing happens to it,” he said.
The Roman-era city of Germanicia was unearthed by chance during an illegal excavation in the basement of a house. Steps have since been taken to completely unearth the ancient city and its mosaics.