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Byzantine mosaics discovered in Balatlar excavations


New mosaics belonging to the Byzantine period have come to light during the excavations at the Balatlar Church (Sinope Koimesis Church in Greek) built in AD 660 in the northern Turkish province of Sinop.


Byzantine mosaics discovered in Balatlar excavations
Credit: DHA



Excavations started 12 years ago in the church complex and have yielded tens of thousands of artefacts and seventh-century burial chambers.


Byzantine mosaics discovered in Balatlar excavations

Byzantine mosaics discovered in Balatlar excavations

Byzantine mosaics discovered in Balatlar excavations

Byzantine mosaics discovered in Balatlar excavations

Byzantine mosaics discovered in Balatlar excavations
Credit: DHA



The teams found new mosaics in a different spot during this season’s excavations. Work has been started to unearth the mosaics from the Byzantine period in the north of the excavation area.


Byzantine mosaics discovered in Balatlar excavations

Byzantine mosaics discovered in Balatlar excavations

Byzantine mosaics discovered in Balatlar excavations

Byzantine mosaics discovered in Balatlar excavations

Byzantine mosaics discovered in Balatlar excavations
Credit: DHA



“Unfortunately, there was a flood disaster in Sinop a few weeks ago. These heavy rains also affected our excavation work for about 15 days. We work in almost every part of the excavation site. Since some areas were filled with water, we directed the works to the western part of the excavation area. There were mosaics we worked on last year. We started to open the north of those mosaics, and we found new mosaic panels. We also cleaned the apse of a great sixth-century church inside and found marble floors. Some of them had been displaced, but their traces were evident. Excavation is a very slow process; we are now clearing the mosaics. Restoration will begin next week,” said Professor Gulgun Koroglu from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University’s Department of Art History who heads the excavation.




Stating that there are early Byzantine-era tombs under the mosaics, Koroglu said: “We recently removed an individual from the tomb. These mosaics were originally made to cover the deceased as a votive offering. The compositions are very similar to each other and consist of the same motifs. This is a sign that there are tombs under them. In addition, there are motifs with more Christian themes in the mosaics.”


Source: Hurriyet Daily News [September 04, 2021]



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