The World’s Largest Mosaic Museum: Zeugma
Gaziantep, UNESCO Gastronomy City, is popular with its cuisine and history. If you visit Gaziantep you will taste delicious food, best baklava, and stare mosaics which are some of the most extraordinary examples to survive from the ancient world.
Gaziantep Zeugma Mosaic Museum is the world’s one of the most important museums in terms of both its building complex and its collection. You should come and see one of the greatest mosaic collections of the world.
World’s Largest Mosaic Museum
Zeugma Mosaic Museum is the world’s largest and magnificent mosaic museum with its area of 30.000 square meters. Besides its 1450 square meters of mosaics, 140 square meters of frescoes, 4 Roman fountains, 20 columns, 4 limestone sculptures, the bronze statue of Mars, grave steles, and sarcophagi, when an additional 1000 square meters of mosaics are restored, the museum will have 2500 square meters of mosaics in total.
Zeugma Mosaic Museum has the most beautiful mosaics in the world from the ancient city of Zeugma. These mosaics are about 2000 years old and unique in design, colour and perfection. These little stones witness to history. Just even this museum is a reason to come to Gaziantep.
Most Famous Pieces at Zeugma Mosaic Museum
The most famous piece in the museum is undoubtedly Gypsy Girl mosaic. The other famous pieces; Fertility Goddess Demeter, Akratos, Okeanos, Euphrates, Tethys, Perseus-Andromeda, Herakles, Helios, Mars Statue, Dionysos, Telete, Skyrtos, Ariadne, Eros, Psykhe, Metiochus, Parthenope.
Gaziantep Zeugma Mosaic Museum
Zeugma Mosaic Museum was structured in the form of three large units houses. This museum attracts the whole world’s attention as the number one mosaic museum of the world.
Main Building: The main building of the museum complex exhibits the mosaics that have been found at the Ancient City of Zeugma.
Second Building: A unique collection of Late Antiquity church mosaics originating from the vicinity of Gaziantep is on display at the second building.
Third Building: The third building is the section comprising the executive offices and conference rooms.
History of Zeugma Ancient City
Zeugma, literally “bridge” or “crossing” in ancient Greek, owes its name to the fact that it was located at the major ancient crossing point on the river Euphrates. The ancient term Zeugma actually referred to the twin cities on the opposing banks of the river. They were Hellenistic settlements established by commander Seleucus Nicator around 300 BC. Today the name Zeugma is usually understood to refer to the settlement on the west bank, called Seleucia after the founder, while the one on the East bank was called Apamea after his Persian wife Apama. The twin settlements were crucial in the cultural policies of the Seleucid empire aiming to achieve the integration of Greco-Macedon and Semitic cultures in the region. In 64 CE, Seleucia came under the rule of the Commagene Kingdom, and then from 72 CE, it was the major eastern frontier city of the Roman Empire. With two Roman legions based in Zeugma in the first century CE, the strategic importance and cosmopolitan nature of the city increased greatly. Due to its crucial position on commercial routes and to the volume of its traffic, Zeugma was chosen by the Romans for toll collecting. Zeugma prospered and functioned as a major commercial city as well as a military base.
The preserved parts of the ancient city include the Hellenistic Agora, the Roman Agora, two sanctuaries, the stadium, the theatre, two bathhouses, the Roman legionary base, administrative structures of the Roman legion, the majority of the residential quarters, Hellenistic and Roman city walls, and the East, South and West necropoles.
The archaeological site of Zeugma is of immense historical significance for understanding the ancient integration of Hellenistic and Semitic cultural spheres and the birth of syncretistic hybrid cultures in the region.