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Illegally excavated mosaic leads to discovery of Roman city

The Roman city of Germenicia, which has lain hidden underground for over 1,500 years has been found thanks to an illegally excavated mosaic found under a house in Turkey.

he Roman-era city of Germenicia was unearthed by chance during an illegal excavation in the basement of a house. Preliminary examinations showed that the mosaics were high-quality contemporaries of those unearthed in the ancient cities of Zeugma and Yamaçevler. The first steps have been taken to completely unearth Germenicia and its mosaics, with houses in the area expropriated by the Culture Ministry.

Speaking to Anatolia news agency, Provincial Culture and Tourism Director Seydi Küçükda?l? said the location of Germenicia was shown as Kahramanmara? on ancient maps, but archaeologists had been unable to determine its exact location because no architectural remnants of the city had been found.

He said the accidentally found mosaics, first stumbled upon during the illegal excavation in 2007, were the reason for finding the 1,500-year-old city. “Although the city was very important and magnificent – it even printed its own money at the time – it remained underground as a result of invasions and fires,” he said.

Küçükda?l? said excavations were initiated under the coordination of the Kahramanmara? Museum Directorate at the end of November. “After the first mosaic was found, we examined the region and registered 19 parcels of land that could be important. We have expropriated five parcels and excavations have started on three. The houses where the mosaics were found have been torn down and a protective cover installed at the site.”

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