Source: Turkish Daily News
Archaeological excavations will start on July 15th in the ancient city of Zeugma. Associate Prof. Kutalmis Gorkay of the Ankara University Department of Archaeology, who leads the excavations in the ancient city, said on Thursday that a 60-member team including 4 foreigners would participate in this year's excavations between July 15 and October 20.
During this year's excavations, Danae and Dionysos temples will be renovated, along with excavations in the Agora, he said, with findings to be displayed in the Gaziantep Archaeology Museum. "So far, we could unearth only 10 percent of the artifacts. The remaining 90 percent has still been under earth," he said in an interview with the Anatolia news agency. Gorkay said they aimed at making the ancient site an "archaeo-park."
Zeugma, an ancient city of Commagene, was unearthed in the southeastern Turkish city of Gaziantep. The ancient city was originally founded as a Greek settlement by Seleucus I Nicator, one of the generals of Alexander the Great, in 300 B.C. King Seleucus almost certainly named the city Seleucia after himself. The population in the city was approximately 80,000.
In 64 B.C., Zeugma was conquered and ruled by the Roman Empire. With this shift, the name of the city was changed into Zeugma, meaning "bridge-passage" or "bridge of boats." During the Roman rule, the city became a regional attraction thanks to its commercial potential originating from a geo-strategic location: the city was on the Silk Road connecting Antakya to China with a quay or pontoon bridge across the Firat River (Euphrates.) The ancient city was first discovered during archaeological excavations in 1987. Unique mosaics have been unearthed in the city so far.