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Byzantine mosaic unearthed in central Anatolia


Excavations are continuing in a clover field in the Central Anatolian province of Konya’s Beyşehir district, where a 1,400 year-old floor mosaic with human and animal figures was unearthed last year.

Byzantine mosaic unearthed in central Anatolia
The mosaic is thought to belong to a Byzantine villa [Credit: AA]
The mosaic, which was found in the Yunuslar neighborhood of Beyşehir, some 30 kilometers away from the city center, has been taken under protection.

Speaking about the excavation works that started this year and which are continuing on an area of 60 square meters, Konya Museums Director Yusuf Benli said they took action in December 2015 when they were warned about an illegal excavation in the neighborhood.

“With the permission of the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Museums, we examined the region and unearthed the current field,” Benli said.

“This is a field in the center of the Yunuslar neighborhood between Konya and Beyşehir. We think this place was a villa. It is also mentioned in documents about the Battle of Myriokephalon at the time of the Selcuk Sultan Kılıçarslan II. Probably this field was a villa. Of course we may find other structures as works continue. There are mosaics in Konya but this is the first time such a beautiful mosaic has been found,” he added.

Benli said the field of mosaics featured a large scene with various human and animal figures, and it is believed to date back 1,400 years.

“There is a different scene here. In the middle is a very big vase and dried tree branches in it. There are also figures of fish, pomegranate, mountain goats, gazelle, partridge, two lions and vulture. The main theme is a warrior fighting against a lion,” he added.

Benli said the mosaic had sustained minor damage and restoration work would be carried out in the coming days.

“After finishing works and taking necessary measures, we need to decide what to do and come up with a project. The field belongs to someone and expropriation work has been initiated,” he added.

Benli said that among the protective measures in the excavation area are a number of security cameras and a guard.

He also said the Beyşehir region was home to historic structures such as the Eşrefoğlu Mosque and that Eflatunpınarı, which are both nominees for the UNESCO World Heritage List.

“The excavation will mark a new gain for Beyşehir,” Benli said.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News [September 03, 2016]
TANN

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