Zeugma: This magnificent ancient city, the name of which means “gate,” was founded in 300 BC on the Seven Hills by Seleucus, one of the generals of Alexander the Great.
Located 10 km away from Nizip a district of Gaziantep province, Zeugma is comprised of two ancient cities connected to each other through a bridge adjoining the two cities.
Formerly named “Euphrates Selevkaya”, the city became known by the name “Zeugma” after entering the patronage of the Roman Empire.
Zeugma was an important trade center of the region located on the historical Silk Road, which used to be the most crucial trade route stretching from Antakya to China in the ancient times.
Recognized for its Roman mosaics throughout the world and visited with curiosity by a great number of tourists, the ancient city is divided and examined in three sections referred to as A, B, and C sections.
Near to the banks of Birecik Dam, sections A and B of this ancient city have been flooded while section C including many ancient structures such as theaters and villas is intended to be turned into an open-air museum.
Shedding light on the Roman period and its architecture the ruins of Zeugma embody a large cultural heritage. History enthusiasts should certainly not miss the opportunity to visit these fabulous monuments and impressive scenery on site.
Zeugma was established at the time of Alexander the Great and lived its heydays during the Roman period. The ancient site is particularly rich in relics such as sculptures, reliefs, and grave sets.
The bullas, also known as seal stamps, amounting to 100.000 in number have brought Turkey a world record for having the worldwide highest number of bullas registered in a museum. Made of terra cotta and decorated with depictions these bullas reveal the commercial relations and wealth of the period.
Another important reason why Zeugma was one of the most crucial four cities of the Roman Empire was that the 4th Legion was stationed here. The legion was in charge of protecting the shores of the Euphrates River.
It is believed that the mosaics of Zeugma, a.k.a City of Mosaics, will constitute the world’s largest mosaic collection displayed at Gaziantep museum after the excavations at Zeugma are completed. Adorned with valuable and artistic frescoes, mosaics and statues, the region is culturally highly developed.
The bronze statue of Mars, symbolizing abundance and power to the Romans, is one of the most intriguing findings of the excavations. The statue has undergone cleanup operations and is opened to visitation now.
Many precious mosaics brought to light during excavations in the region are displayed on site or in the Zeugma Mosaic Museum. The worldwide popular mosaic of the Gypsy (Gaia), with her misty and mysterious gaze, has become the symbol of Zeugma.
The mosaics of Triton, Dionysus and Nike, Antiope and the Satyr, Dionysus’sWedding, the Birth of Aphrodite, Achilles, Oceanus and Tethys as well as the mosaics of Love and Soul among others illustrate the great potential of this unique and valuable ancient city.
Supported by the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism the Zeugma Archaeological Project is intended to protect the area and its surroundings and to shed light on the treasures of the region to provide the world with another world heritage.
The Gaziantep Zeugma Mosaic Museum, exhibiting the relics and mosaics of the area, is one of the most significant museums in the world. The site is a one of the must-see places for visitors in Gaziantep.
Vacationers intrigued by Zeugma and its mysteries should not miss the opportunity to visit and explore the region.
Zeugma is one of the major historical areas that has preserved its value from the past to the present. The festivals and various activities organized on site are aimed at increasing and promoting the value of the historical area.
The Zeugma Culture and Tourism Festival is aimed at increasing the number of the city's social and cultural activities and sports facilities and contributing to activities concerning the protection of monuments.
Do not hesitate to visit this special heritage of the ancient times!
How can I get there?
A district of Gaziantep province, Zeugma is situated in a region offering various transportation alternatives.
The Gaziantep Airport can be reached via direct flight from Istanbul and Ankara. There are shuttles and busses that will take you to the ancient site in a short time.
Located at the highway intersection of the Southern Anatolian region, Gaziantep is situated on a route that can be reached via shuttle buses from nearly all major cities around Turkey. The shuttles and mini buses stationed at the bus terminal will take you to your destination.
Tourists who want to see one of the most important heritages of the world are more than welcome in Zeugma.