Gaziantep Zeugma Mosaic Museum
Gaziantep Zeugma Mosaic Museum Entry Fee and Opening Hours
Zeugma houses various mosaics, for instance famous “Gypsy Girl” mosaic, and ancient objects. The museum where valuable and unique works from the ancient times are displayed is located in Gaziantep. It hosts over 3000 visitors per day and it was the world’s biggest mosaic museum until Hatay Archeology Museum was opened.
Some pieces damaged by treasure hunters are added to the mosaics by a laser system in the museum. Moreover, art galleries or conferences in fields such as archeology and history are held in Zeugma Mosaic Museum. You should definitely add Zeugma Mosaic Museum to your list as it sheds light on the cultural richness of Anatolia in the Ancient Age.
Information about Zeugma and Its History
While Alexander the Great was passing through Anatolia to conquer the world known back then, Selevkos Nikator, one of Macedonian commanders of Alexander the Great, decided to found his own city by Euphrates. Therefore, it’s known that the first name of the city was named after its founder and it was called Selevkaya Euphrates. However, after the Roman Empire took control of the region, it began to be called Zeugma.
As Zeugma is located both by Euphrates and it was an important port between China and Antakya (aka Antioch and one of the most important cities in Ancient Age), it functioned as a bridge.
Today, Zeugma is located in Nizip district of Gaziantep, at Belkis Neighborhood and it’s assumed that most of the ancient city is under Birecik Dam Lake. Actually, most of the mosaics and other objects displayed at the museum were found during the excavations made in this area.
Gypsy Girl and Other Mosaics at Zeugma Mosaic Museum
Gypsy Girl is the most famous mosaic in Zeugma and there are many theories regarding this piece that was found on the floor of a villa at Belkis Ruins. Due to the way the hair of the woman in the mosaic is braided, it was called Gypsy Girl among public. However, it’s believed that this figure belongs to either Gaia, the Goddess of Earth, or Alexander the Great.
Some pieces of Gypsy Girl were preserved in Bowling Green State University in the USA until 2018. However, these pieces were brought back by the Ministry of Culture and they were added to the original mosaic, which is also known as Mona Lisa of Zeugma.
Zeugma Mosaic Museum Entry Fee and Hours
Greek Mosaics in Zeugma
There are also some other important mosaics that describes stories and characters from ancient Greek mythology, such as Dionysus and Nike, Antiope and Satyr. However, there are some other important objects and mosaics from the history of early Christianity and Assyrians.
It’s important to note that the mosaic figures depicting Dionysus play an important role in the museum. For example, the Mosaic of Dionysus’ Return from India is regarded as the summary of mythological depictions of Dionysus rituals and this character.
According to the history narrated in this mosaic, as Dionysus was bored of wandering around Greece and Anatolia, he decides to go to Hydaspes (India, Panjab) to see different places and his return to Anatolia is celebrated with a big feast. Many elements attributed to Dionysus can be observed in this mosaic in details.
Zeugma Mosaic Museum Entry Fee 2020
Entrance fee of Zeugma Mosaic Museum is 24 Turkish Liras. Tickets are free for children under 8 years. Museum Pass Turkey is valid at the entrance to Gaziantep Mosaic Museum.
Zeugma Mosaic Museum Opening Hours 2020
The Zeugma Mosaic Museum can be visited between 09:00 and 19:00 in the summer period from 1 April to 1 October. In the winter period between 1 October and 1 April, it closes at 5 pm.
Visiting times of the museum may change due to some events and renovations. So before you go, you can visit the official website of Zeugma to see the latest status.