Roman-era floor mosaic paved over with asphalt in Turkey's İznik
BURSA - Doğan News Agency
The entry point of a Roman-era floor mosaic discovered in September last year during sewage excavations in the northwestern province of Bursa’s İznik district has been paved over with asphalt by the municipality.“After the preliminary excavations, we applied to the Culture and Tourism Ministry for expropriation, but that expropriation was not made. The mosaics were covered with geotextile material and river sand for protection. If expropriation is realized, archaeological excavations will start,” officials from the İznik Museum Directorate said.
The floor mosaics continued towards a building used as barn, the officials added.
Remains of Roman palace
The floor mosaic was found on Afyon Street in İznik’s Beyler neighborhood, two meters underground. The mosaic, which was said to be part of the remains of a Roman palace, depicts the visage of a human face. When the İznik Museum Directorate carried out work in the area, archaeologists removed the earth layer around the mosaic and saw the human face was accompanied by a snake figure as well as different hexagonal figures.
Following the work, the officials covered the mosaic with sand and the area was paved with asphalt by the İznik Municipality.
The museum officials said they had sent a letter to the Culture and Tourism Ministry for expropriation, adding, “But they did not expropriate the area of the mosaic. Now it is under protection like a five-layer sandwich with geotextile materials and river sand.”
Speaking of the issue, İznik Mayor Osman Sargın said the floor mosaic was under the building and the area which was paved with asphalt had nothing to do with the mosaics.