Mosaics reveal ancient styles in Turkey's southeast
ŞANLIURFA – Anadolu Agency
AA photoMosaics carved on rock tombs in the Urfa Castle, that were unearthed last year during excavations in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa, will reveal the region’s antique history with writings, symbols and portraits engraved on them.
The mosaics, which were found on 72 rock tombs on the outskirts of the castle, are believed to date back to the Edessa Kingdom. Examinations on four mosaics are still continuing and are expected to open to tourism when the works are done.
The mosaics depict the portraits of four people buried under the graves with their names written in Syriac. They also provide information on the clothing and appearances of those people.
The rock tombs and mosaics were believed to be 2,000 years old and held historic significance, according to Şanlıurfa Metropolitan Mayor Nihat Çiftçi.
“The portraits that belong to the people buried under are displayed on the mosaics. They are now under protection,” he said.
Çiftçi said that works had been progressing in the region, adding that the findings would contribute to the culture, civilization and promotion of Şanlıurfa.
Culture still the same
An archaeologist from the Şanlıurfa Museum, Bekir Çetin, said the region was reputed as the necropolis (cemetery) of the Edessa city. The necropolis was used by Syriacs between 132 B.C. and 244 A.D.
“Generally, we see such tombs in the southern, southeastern and the eastern Anatolia regions, as well as in Syria,” he added.
He said the tombs were mostly built as family chamber tombs and the dead bodies were placed inside holes on the walls.
“These mosaics generally have herbal and geometrical motifs. Particularly in one of them, mosaics depicting the portraits of the dead were made and the names of these people were written in Syriac. When we look at a mosaic, we clearly see the dressing sense of their era and men’s hair and beards. With women, we see that they covered their head. When comparing the people on these mosaics and today’s people, we think that the culture of this era still exists among the local people living there.”