Zeugma – located 11 hours (1,153 km) via car southeast of Istanbul, 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.
Many of these mosaics are now housed at “Zeugma Mosaic Museum” (resulting from years of archaeological work that uncovered many well preserved ancient mosaics) –
(museum address: Mithatpaşa, Hacı Sani Konukoğlu Blv., 27500 Şehitkamil/
Gaziantep). This museum is located near the original excavation site.
Tour companies that provide excursions to this site are: www.anatolia-tours.com; www.gotourturkey.com; www.toursbylocals.com; www.turkeyculturaltour.com www.turkeyforholidays.com