Monastery, mosaic found in illegal digs

Monastery, mosaic found in illegal digs

Monastery, mosaic found in illegal digs

A monastery, built during the Roman period, and a 1,500-year-old mosaic have been unearthed during an illegal excavation carried out in the western province of İzmir’s Aliağa district.

Upon a notification that illegal excavations were being carried out in the mountainous area where there are no means of transportation by vehicle, the Provincial Gendarmerie Command teams started an operation. The teams, which organized an operation at the address, caught two people trying to remove the historical remains about two meters below the ground.

İzmir Archeology Museum experts also examined the region and finally the ruins of a Roman monastery and a 1,500-year-old mosaic, which is said to be rare in the world, were uncovered and the region was taken under protection.

It drew attention the writing on the mosaic, decorated with ivy motifs, which reads, “made by a man from the elders of the church for the welfare of his family.”

The mosaics will be taken to the museum after the examinations and a separate work will be carried out for the monastery.

Speaking to the state-run Anadolu Agency, İzmir Archaeology Museum Director Hünkar Keser said the region was a registered one.

Stating that the gendarmerie seized illegal excavations in the area and informed the museum, Keser said, “This is a mountainous region and very difficult to reach. We came to the field with our experts. We detected the floor mosaics. This place was used as a monastery and it has a basilica.”

Stating that the findings are of great importance in terms of archeology, Keser said that after the procedures there, they will carry the mosaics to the museum.

Explaining that they believe that the monastery was used in the 4th century to the 14th century, Keser said, “The mosaics found here are very valuable archaeologically. It is located at a point where it can be reached by tractor from the pathways. This is a universal cultural asset and a rare artifact. After ensuring its protection and making the necessary correspondence, we will take the floor mosaic and move it to the museum.”

Monastery, mosaic found in illegal digs

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