June 21, 2019

Zeugma A Hidden Historical Treasure

Zeugma is a historical city hiding the treasures of ancient cultures and traditions. This city was a part of the Kingdom of Commagene. Zeugma is located in Belkis, Gaziantep Province, Turkey. Furthermore, to know about this wonderful city, let’s dig into the history of Zeugma.

Brief History

Zeugma is a well-known place for culture and tourism. It is commonly famous for the Hellenistic and Semitic discoveries made on this site. However, the remains of the city also shows a greater understanding of the cultures in the Hellenistic Period.

Initially, Selevkos Nikator I founded a state called Selevkeia Euphrates in 300 BC. He was one of the generals of Alexander the Great. This state also helped Alexander the Great to cross the River Euphrates.

Selevkos also established a twin city on the East bank. It was named after his Persian wife Apama. It connected the two cities by a bridge. The bridge that united the twin metropolis gave it the unique name of Zeugma meaning “a yoke” or “the crossing” in Hellenistic times. Gradually, during Roman rule, the city converted into a trade center for its commercial potential. The geographical position of the city became a famous route on the Silk Road. It connected Antioch to China through a bridge of pontoons across the river Euphrates. The bridge separated the border with the Persian Empire until the late 2nd century.

Zeugma as a Mosaic City

Although, the discoveries carried out in this region proves that Zeugma is a mosaic city inspired by Greek. The folk stories and Greco-Roman mythologies shows the influence of Hellenistic era.

In addition, most of the art and craft found in Zeugma shows the mythological illustrations of unknown origin. It is said that they might be influenced by the famous works of the Roman world.

Zeugma flourished day and night until its demise in 253 BC by Sassanid king Shapur. Later, the twin cities were unable to return to its former glory.

Reference Links

https://www.kulturportali.gov.tr/turkiye/gaziantep/gezilecekyer/belkiszeugma-antik-kenti

https://www.aktuelarkeoloji.com.tr/zeugma-antik-kenti

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