Archaeologists digging at the site of the ancient city of Doliche in Turkey have uncovered a stunning mosaic that would’ve been used as the floor of a villa building during the late-antique era (3rd-7th centuries CE).
German archaeologists found this mosaic while excavating the site of the ancient city of Doliche in Turkey. Image credit: Peter Jülich / University of Münster.
“The ancient city of Doliche (near modern-day Dülük), which was part of the province of Syria in Roman times, lies at the fringes of the Turkish metropolis of Gaziantep today,” said team member Prof. Engelbert Winter, of the University of Münster, Germany.
“The city is one of the few places where Syrian urban culture from the Hellenistic-Roman era can currently still be studied.”
“The most outstanding discovery of our excavations is a high-quality mosaic floor in a splendid complex of buildings with a court enclosed by columns that originally covered more than 100 sq. meters,” added Dr Michael Blömer, also of the University of Munster.
According to the team, the large mosaic graced the floor of a luxurious urban villa some 1,500 years ago.
“Because of its size and the strict, well-composed sequence of delicate geometric patterns, the mosaic is one of the most beautiful examples of late antique mosaic art in the region,” Dr Blömer said.
“This and other finds already reveal the potential that the site has for further research into the environment of the urban elites and for questions as to the luxurious furnishing in urban area,” he added.
Prof. Winter, Dr Blömer and their colleagues are also excavating simple houses, alleys and water pipelines, which promise to give major insights into the everyday life of the people and the organization of Doliche.
“In 2016, the excavations are planned to be extended to the public areas of the ancient city,” Dr Blömer said. “By means of different methods, we hope to obtain a reliable picture of a Northern Syrian city from the Hellenistic era to the age of the Crusaders (1096-1291) as well as a clearer picture of the material everyday culture and of local identities in this region, the research of which is still in its early stages as regards ancient Syria.”