Photo: University of Nebraska-Lincoln
After a long summer dig, archaeologists from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have uncovered a 1,600-square-foot Roman mosaic in southern Turkey.The mosaic, which was part of a Roman bath, is believed to be the largest of its kind ever found in the region.
See photos of the Roman mosaic >
The first indication that something was hidden underground came in 2001 when a farmer plowed up pieces of the mosaic, according to a press release. But the archaeological museum in Alanya, Turkey, didn’t have the money to conduct a full excavation, director Michael Hoff told Stephanie Pappas of LiveScience.
That changed last year when the museum asked Hoff and his team to return to the site and finish the dig.
“We were surprised to have found a mosaic of such size and of such calibre in this region,” Hoff said in a statement. “It’s an area that had usually been off the radar screens of most ancient historians and archaeologists, and suddenly this mosaic comes into view and causes us to change our focus about what we think (the region) was like in antiquity.”
An overhead view of the mosaic. About 40 per cent of the ancient bath decoration has been uncovered so far. Researchers expect its total area to be about 1,600 square feet (the size of a small house) when fully unearthed next summer.
The mosaic is near a third-century imperial temple in the city of Antoichia ad Cragum, near the Mediterranean on the southern Turkish coast.
The team began excavating the remains of Antiochia ad Cragum in 2005, but turned their attention to the mosaic in July. Researchers, students and workers spent two months unearthing and cleaning the mosaic this summer.
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